Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
  • UPDATE!

    News/ 

    Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Quits Sesame Street: Anatomy of a Sex Scandal

    Puppeteer Kevin Clash Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

    It's not a sunny day on Sesame Street.

    Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigned from the PBS children's program Tuesday following a second set of sex abuse allegations on Monday.

    But the man behind the Muppet didn't go down overnight. Here's how Clash, 52, went from puppeteer to pariah in this sad scandal.

    8 more infamous Sesame Street scandals

    1984: Clash officially becomes a puppeteer on Sesame Street. He initially voiced a few different characters, but his role as Elmo stuck.

    1990: The performer wins the first of 20 Daytime Emmys for his contribution to Sesame Street.

    1993: Clash and his then-wife, Genia, welcome a daughter named Shannon. In 2011, he tells the New York Post he and his ex-wife have a "brother-sister" relationship.

    1996: Tickle Me Elmo doll is introduced and becomes instant sensation, selling out virtually everywhere before Christmas and fetching as much as $1,500 on the secondary market. Clash ultimately strikes lucrative deal for percentage of Elmo merchandising.

    2006: Clash releases an autobiography titled My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud.

    More from Clash on his resignation

    2011: The puppeteer is the focus of a documentary titled Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.

    Nov. 12, 2012:  A 23-year-old man (later revealed to be aspiring model Sheldon Stephens) accuses Clash of having inappropriate sexual relations when he was just 16. Clash confirms he was gay but adamantly denies any wrongdoing. He is granted a leave of absence by Sesame Workshop.

    Nov. 13, 2012: Clash's accuser recants his abuse allegations, saying he and the puppeteer had an "adult consensual relationship."

    Clash's first accuser has a criminal record

    Nov. 19, 2012: Stephens is reportedly having second thoughts about his settlement, with unnamed sources telling TMZ he felt pressured to accept the deal and withdraw his accusations.

    The same day, a second man, Cecil Singleton, alleges that Clash had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with him when he was just 15 years old.

    Read more about Clash's second accuser and the lawsuit he filed

    Nov. 20, 2012:  Singleton files a $5 million federal lawsuit against Clash. The puppeteer in turn announces his resignation from Sesame Workshop "with a very heavy heart." He cites "personal matters [that] have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing" as the reason for his departure. Sesame Workshop issues a statement saying Clash's "personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants."

    Sesame Street reps have made it clear that Elmo will live on, and that the beloved Muppet "is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street."

    Nov. 21, 2012: Toy maker Hasbro announces, without mentioning Clash, that it is not abandoning Elmo. "Sesame Street and its wonderful characters have been entertaining and educating children and families for more than 40 years," the company says in a statement. "We are confident that Elmo will remain an integral part of Sesame Street and that Sesame Street toys will continue to delight children for years to come."

    Stars on Sesame Street

    RELATED VIDEOS:

    FROM AROUND THE WEB
    MORE ON EONLINE
    Videos/

    Guess Who!

    Which star is showing off while sunbathing?