Umm, this is NOT what we were expecting from TLC.
Check out the official statement (below)!
[Image via TLC.]
This all went from bad to resolved, to maybe-not-so-resolved, to MUCH MUCH WORSE in no time at all!
Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street, came under scrutiny last week when a young man named Sheldon Stephens accused the actor of engaging in a sexual relationship with him when he was only 16 years old. Although it appeared the matter was to be settled out of court and the allegations to be recanted, the now-23-year-old then announced that he was unfairly pressured into the deal, and would still be pressing charges!
Well, he may now have some help in the courtroom, because a SECOND man, named Cecil Singleton, has stepped forward and revealed that he had a sexual relationship with him after meeting on a gay phone chat in 1993…when he was only 15 YEARS OLD!
And because of it, Clash has now RESIGNED from the children's program!
Sesame Workshop says in a statement:
“None of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”
Especially in light of the specific accusations in this case!
According to court documents:
"[Clash] trolled gay telephone chat line rooms to meet and have sex with underage boys. [He] groomed [the accuser] to gain his trust by, among other things, taking him to nice dinners and giving him money…preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests. [Singleton] did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash's sexual acts and conduct until 2012."
Ugh! Just CHILLING!
Obviously, there will surely be much more information to come as these cases move forward, but we just sincerely hope that this isn't the beginning of what could be a long history of abuse from a man who used his occupation to manipulate the trust of young people.
A sad, sad day for Sesame Street, indeed.
[Image via WENN.]