Man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of teen sex recants

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The man who accused "Sesame Street" puppeteer Kevin Clash of having an underage sexual relationship with him has now recanted his story.

The accuser's attorneys, the Harrisburg, Pa., law firm Andreozzi & Associates, said in a statement Tuesday that the unidentified man "wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship," and added, "He will have no further comment on the matter."

In June, the man, now 24, told "Sesame Street" producer Sesame Workshop that he was 16 when the relationship began. After TMZ.com reported the allegation Monday, Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo and other characters, took a leave of absence from the show.

"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest," Clash, 52, said through a spokeswoman. "I will not discuss it further."

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Sesame Workshop said in a statement Tuesday, "We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode." Sesame Workshop did not say when Clash would be expected back at work.

Clash acknowledged the relationship, but denied it began when the partner was 16. "I had a relationship with the accuser," Clash said in a statement Monday. "It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was."

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