Kevin Clash has been hit with another lawsuit.
A fourth accuser has surfaced, claiming in court documents filed Monday in New York that he was "16 or 17" when he engaged in "sexual contact" with the former Sesame Street star, who puppeted Elmo for nearly 30 years before resigning last month.
As was the case with two previous lawsuits and another man who came forward and then recanted his accusations, Clash's attorney, Michael Berger, denies the plaintiff's allegations, telling E! News that today's suit is "without merit" and they will "vigorously defend the case and Mr. Clash's reputation."
The plaintiff, identified only as S.M. and then referred to as John Doe throughout the suit, alleges that he met Clash in Miami Beach in late 1995 or early 1996 and the puppeteer befriended him, after which the two stayed in contact when Clash returned to his home in New York.
The suit contends that Clash, over the phone, enticed John Doe to visit him with promises of a plane ticket, cash and a place to stay, as well as the promise of "being a 'dad' to him."
When the plaintiff ultimately visited Clash in early 1996, the suit continues, he and the now-52-year-old Clash "had sexual contact on multiple occasions," including sodomy and oral sex, in the older man's apartment. John claims that he didn't know Clash was the voice of Elmo until he visited him in New York.
Claiming that he suffered "severe injuries, including but no limited to mental, personal and psychological trauma" that is "continuing and permanent," John is asking for at least $75,000 in damages.
Being a "compliant victim," his client was not aware of the full extent of his injuries until this year, attorney Jeff Herman alleges in the complaint.
Herman, who's representing all three of Clash's accusers who are seeking damages, said in a statement that, in addition to coercing and enticing his client to engage in sexual activity, Clash "knowingly paid to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of satisying his sexual interests."
—Additional reporting by Baker Machado