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'Sesame Street''s former Elmo puppeteer accused of drug-fuelled sex with teenage boy

The accuser has filed a lawsuit claiming 'the voice of Elmo' smoked meth while they had sex

PA
Photo: PA
The former puppeteer of Sesame Street's Elmo is being sued by a man who claims he was lured into drug-fuelled sex at the age of 16.

Sheldon Stephens, now 24, has filed a lawsuit accusing Kevin Clash - the voice of Elmo for over 25 years - of sexual battery for childhood sexual abuse, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and coercion and enticement to sexual activity. He is seeking unspecified damages.

During a news conference attended by Sky News yesterday (March 19), Stephens said he met Clash at a networking event and was later driven by limousine from his home in Pennsylvania to a New York apartment. Once there, he claims Clash used crystal meth and "poppers" and handed him another recreational drug before the pair began sexual contact.

According to the lawsuit, on another occasion a chauffeur drove Clash and Stephens to the chauffeur's apartment, where a crystal-meth "sex party" is alleged to have taken place. Stephens claims Clash smoked the drug while the pair engaged in sexual activity.

Stephens first made these allegations last year (2012), prompting Clash to leave Sesame Street after 28 years on the show. Stephens, whose relationship with Clash ended when he was 22, said he was compelled to begin legal proceedings after watching Elmo on TV with young members of his family. "When I started to realise my nieces were idolising this character, it just disgusted me inside because I knew what had happened to me," he explained.

Clash's attorney has issued a statement in which his client denies any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, three other men are currently suing Clash over allegations of underage sex.

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