Just as news broke of a new accuser coming forward with claims of underage sex with Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, the “Sesame Street” star has officially resigned from the company.
Clash, who originally took a leave of absence from “Sesame Street” to deal with the first allegation, resigned from “Sesame Street” because he felt his personal life was becoming a disruption to the brand.
“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,'” Sesame Workshop said in a statement.
Sesame Workshop supported the 54-year-old voiceover talent throughout the accusations and believed that the initial accuser’s claims were unsubstantiated after conducting a thorough investigation.
Prior to his resignation, the company had only disciplined the Baltimore-bred puppeteer for inappropriate use of company email.
Clash released the following statement about his exit.
“I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart. I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street’ is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”
The actor has won 23 Daytime Emmy Awards for his work as Elmo.
In 2011, Clash starred in the documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey,” which made it critically acclaimed debut at the Sundance Film Festival.