Kevin Clash, the longtime voice of Elmo and a legendary puppeteer in the closeknit world of children's television, has resigned. His resignation comes in the wake of allegations of an underage sexual relationship with a man - now 25 - who recanted those allegations last week. However, reports have surfaced - mostly in TMZ - that the man had been paid to change his story and has since sought to reverse even that one.
In a statement, first posted on the New York Times website, "Sesame Street's" New York-based producer, Sesame Workshop said that its "mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street."