Kevin Clash Accused of Meth-Fueled Sex With a Minor

By McCarton Ackerman 03/20/13

After leaving Sesame Street, the puppeteer who played "Elmo" faces new allegations.

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Kevin Clash resigned from his job at Sesame Street in November after playing the voice of Elmo for 28 years, but his legal woes have not been swept away. Clash, 52, is now being accused of a crystal meth-fueled sexual affair with 24-year-old Sheldon Stephens, who would have been 16 at the time. Stephens was one of three men who came forward last November and accused Clash of having a sexual relationship with them when they were minors. But after an out-of-court settlement deal was made, Stephens admitted that their relationship began as adults and was consensual. However, Stephens has since recanted that admission and is suing Clash for exposing him to drugs and having sex with him when he was underage. The lawsuit claims that Clash frequently hired a chauffeur to bring Stephens from his home in Harrisburg, PA to NYC, where the pair had a “pattern of sexual activity … over a period of years,” according to the plaintiff. The suit also claims that Clash "smoked crystal meth while engaging in sexual activity with Sheldon.” The actor has admitted to using work computers to engage in inappropriate e-mail exchanges with Stephens, but has denied all charges of sexual activity against him. "This lawsuit is meritless and barred by the statute of limitations," said Michael Berger, Clash's lawyer, in a statement. "Sheldon Stephens, the plaintiff, has already admitted in writing that he had 'an adult consensual relationship' with Mr. Clash. Mr. Clash continues to deny any wrongdoing, and we intend to defend this case forcefully."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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