Los Angeles - The long-time puppeteer who voiced the character Elmo on the popular kids' show Sesame Street has been accused of having a relationship with a 16-year-old boy, the programme's producers said on Monday.
The puppeteer, Kevin Clash, denied the accusation. Producers said he has taken a leave of absence.
In a statement, Sesame Workshop said that it was contacted in June by a 23-year-old man who claimed that he had a relationship when he was 16 with Clash.
The organisation said it investigated the allegation of underage contact and found it to be unsubstantiated, however they said Clash "exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined."
Celebrity website TMZ.com said Clash admitted having a relationship with his accuser, but insisted that it only took place when the accuser was over the age of 18.
Sesame Workshop said the show would continue during Clash's absence.
"Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years," it said.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
Lady Gaga has never been one for dressing down, but the G.U.Y. singer took her strange fashion sense to a new level recently. Read More »
A galaxy of old and new pop stars has recorded a song to raise money for the fight against the Ebola virus ravaging West Africa. Read More »
Watch it here!
Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!
GautengWorxs 4 U
Northern CapeWorxs 4 U
North WestWorxs 4 U
HousesR 5 800 000
HousesR 2 550 000
HousesR 1 680 000