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.
Prince Harry has presented Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the insignia of an hounorary member of The Order of the Companions of Honour. Read More »
Prince Harry met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town to chat about the Tutu Legacy Foundation. Read More »
Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.
Cape Town CBD
HousesR 2 290 000
HousesR 1 600 000
HousesR 4 500 000