A man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy has recanted his story.
In a surprising turnabout, the man described his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.
Clash responded with a statement of his own, saying he is “relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest”.
The accuser, who has not identified himself, released his statement through the Pennsylvania law firm Andreozzi & Associates.
Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, soon responded by saying: “We are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.”
The episode began on Monday, when Sesame Workshop startled the world by announcing Clash had taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations he had had a relationship with a 16-year-old.
Clash swiftly denied the charges of his accuser, who is now in his early 20s.
Clash acknowledged he is gay but said that the relationship was between two consenting adults.
Neither Clash nor Sesame Workshop indicated when he might return to work on the show, on which he has performed as Elmo since 1984.
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