Fourth claim against Elmo puppeteer

Fourth claim against Elmo puppeteer

Another man is suing the former Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid sex abuse allegations, claiming the voice actor befriended him in Miami and promised to be a father figure before flying the teenager to New York to have sex with him.

The alleged victim is the fourth to accuse Kevin Clash, who resigned from 'Sesame Street' last month after 28 years.

The three legal actions filed so far have been civil cases seeking financial compensation.

The incident with the latest victim, referred to only as SM, could involve criminal charges because the lawsuit claims Clash transported him across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

Attorney Jeff Herman said he encouraged his client to report the incident to authorities but it is unclear if the alleged victim, now 33, has done so.

Sexual abuse allegations against Clash triggered a media frenzy last month. He quickly denied the first claim, which was recanted the next day.

But Clash then resigned after a 24-year-old college student, Cecil Singleton, sued him for $5m (€3.87m), saying the actor engaged in sexual behaviour with him when he was 15.

Mr Singleton claims the voice actor met him in New York a dozen years ago after trolling gay telephone chat lines and seeking under-age boys for sex.

In the latest case, the plaintiff said Clash approached him on Miami Beach, complimented his appearance and struck up a friendship. Clash returned home to New York, but stayed in touch with the teenager.

The youth, who was 16 or 17 at the time, had been molested by a teacher and was considering running away from home, according to the lawsuit.

“These are all vulnerable boys. None of them had father figures in their lives and they were looking for that father figure,” said Mr Herman, who represents three of the alleged victims.

The lawsuit says Clash paid for a plane ticket from Florida to New York in 1996 and arranged for a car service to pick up the teenager and bring him to his upscale apartment, where he gave him cash and showered him with “attention and affection” and ultimately engaged in numerous sexual acts.

Mr Herman said he is studying receipts and other documents to see if the car service was paid for by Clash’s employers at Sesame Street.

“We’re confident in the actions that we took, but because this is now an issue between litigants, we’re not going to comment further,” said Ellen Lewis, a publicist for Sesame Street.

Mr Herman said the alleged victims did not come forward sooner because they were afraid, but have found courage as others have spoken up.

He said they are compliant victims who participated in the sexual acts, but didn’t consent because it’s illegal for a minor to do so.

He added that he has been contacted by several other possible victims and is vetting their cases.

More in this Section

Flooded non-league football side in UK make plea for big clubs’ help with repair billsFlooded non-league football side in UK make plea for big clubs’ help with repair bills

Firm wants to recover ‘voice of Titanic’ telegraph machine from ship’s wreckageFirm wants to recover ‘voice of Titanic’ telegraph machine from ship’s wreckage

China’s leaders sound cautious note over coronavirus fightChina’s leaders sound cautious note over coronavirus fight

Germany to increase police presence after racist shootingGermany to increase police presence after racist shooting


Lifestyle

Not all trends are created equal. Some are exciting – like first-date butterflies; others are comforting – like ice-cream and Golden Girls reruns.Trend of the Week: Floral free for all

Veterinary medicine is a demanding career, leading to mental health problems for some vets.Elephant in the clinic: Helpline offers support to vets with mental health difficulties

Pearl Lowe turns 50 in April – and she’s got a lot to celebrate. TA look into the reinvention of Pearl Lowe

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

More From The Irish Examiner