Judge tosses three out of four lawsuits against Elmo puppeteer

Senior Editor
07.01.13 17 Comments

(via Getty Image)

It’s been a while since we heard from Kevin Clash. The Elmo puppeteer was the subject of a heartwarming documentary, but barely had time to soak up the public’s adoration before 23-year-old Shelden Stevens came forward to say that the then 45-year-old Clash had been having sex with Stevens when he was 16. He later recanted, then recanted his recantation, but the damage was already done, and Clash resigned amid even more allegations. The possibility of a happy ending seems to have sailed, but a judge has thrown out three of the four pending lawsuits against Clash, for whatever that’s worth. Probably a few mortgage payments for his lawyers, I’m assuming.

Federal Judge John Koeltl (KOH’-toll) threw out the lawsuits Monday. He says the claims came more than six years after each man reasonably should have become aware of Clash’s alleged violations and more than three years after each turned 18. There’s one other lawsuit pending.

His resignation came after college student Cecil Singleton sued him for more than $5 million, accusing Clash of having sex with him when he was 15. Singleton’s lawsuit was among those thrown out Monday. [AP]

We broke the story … Singleton sued Clash back in 2012 (when he was 23) claiming an adult Clash seduced him when he was 15 years old.  Singleton says they had sexual intercourse years later … when Cecil was an adult. In the documents, the judge explains that the statute of limitations to sue expired 3 years after the accusers turned 18 … therefore, they’re all too late. Clash resigned from his job with Sesame Street after several men — including Singleton and Kiadii — came forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships. Clash has denied any wrongdoing. [TMZ]

So… good? I guess? I really don’t know what to make of this story. The accusers seemed like they were looking for a payday, but Clash resigning didn’t make him look especially innocent either. And most of the accusations seem to fall into that murky grey area between inappropriate relationship and actual molestation. A murky grey area I like to think of as George Lucas’s crawl space. Anyway, not much to cheer for in this case. It’s like watching the Yankees play the SS.

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