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The reign of Elmo has come to an end. Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who has been the voice of the lovable muppet, has resigned from his position with Sesame Street.

Clash stepped down from the gig that he’s held for over 25 years in the wake of a s-x scandal involving  a physical relationship with a teenage boy, just as another claim has arisen. “I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart,” he said in a statement. “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 new accuser, Cecil Singleton, alleged that he started sleeping with the now 52-year-old after meeting on a gay chat line in 1993.

Meanwhile, the first accuser,  recanted his words, but has had a change of heart after news broke that he was paid off. The fist man to throw allegations as Clash is an aspiring model who received $125,000 in exchange for pulling back his original claims.

In response to Clash’s departure, Sesame Workshop noted that the personal issues surrounding the puppeteer have become too much to handle. “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.”

Clash was hired for only 10  Sesame Street episodes in 1983. He created characters like Hoots the Owl, Baby Natsha, and Dr. Nobel Peace Prize, but it was Elmo that stuck with audiences.

No word yet on what Elmo plans to do with his life, now that he’s lost his day job.


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Photo: The Grio