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Ex-Elmo puppeteer faces new allegations of sex abuse, meth use

 

Todd Oren / Getty Images file

Kevin Clash poses with Elmo.

Updated, 2:40 p.m. ET: Kevin Clash, the ex-Elmo puppeteer who previously faced allegations of sex abuse, is once again at the center of a lawsuit. The man behind the iconic "Sesame Street" character is named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by Sheldon Stephens, who was the first individual to accuse Clash of abuse in 2012.

Stephens claims in a new complaint filed Monday in Middle District Court of Pennsylvania that he and Clash met in 2004 through a social networking event for models and actors. According to a press release sent by Stephens' attorney Jeff Herman, the complaint includes accusations that Clash and Stephens began having sexual intercourse when Stephens was 16. It details an occasion when Stephens was still 16 and Clash hosted a "crystal meth sex party" at his apartment. The complaint also accuses Clash of doing meth at that party, giving the drugs to Stephens, and engaging in sexual contact with the then-teenager.


Michael Berger, an attorney for Clash, issued a statement Tuesday calling the lawsuit "meritless" and "barred by the statute of limitations." In the statement, Berger writes that Stephens 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."

Clash resigned from Sesame Workshop in 2012.

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