Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on "Sesame Street," has resigned.
Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on "Sesame Street," has resigned. (Molly Riley, Reuters Photo)

A claim that "Sesame Street" puppeteer Kevin Clash had sex with a minor has been withdrawn.

The 23-year-old man who had said he was 16 when he began a romantic relationship with Clash — the voice of Elmo — recanted Tuesday through his attorney. The brief statement from the Harrisburg, Pa., law firm of Andreozzi & Associates reads in its entirety:


"This office represented the 23-year-old man who was the subject of many media reports regarding Kevin Clash. He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship. He will have no further comment on the matter."

The Baltimore-born Clash, 52, never denied having been intimate with his accuser, but had contended that the relationship began when both were adults. Through his publicist, Risa Heller, Clash said: "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further."

Heller did not say whether her client still plans to return to the show, from which he has taken a leave of absence.

A statement from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind "Sesame Street" and which stood by Clash, was similarly brief.

"We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close," the statement read, "and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode."