Kevin Clash — the man known as the voice of Elmo — has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy, TMZ has learned … allegations Clash adamantly denies.
We’ve learned … Sesame Workshop lawyers recently met with a 23-year-old man who claims he and Clash began a sexual relationship 7 years ago … when he was 16 and Clash was 45.
Clash has acknowledged to TMZ he had a relationship with the young man — but insists it only took place AFTER the accuser was an adult.
Sesame Workshop honchos tell TMZ … “In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16-years-old. This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.”
Sesame Workshop officials acknowledge to TMZ they met with the accuser twice and had a number of other communications with him.
Sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell TMZ … after the accuser’s initial meeting with Sesame Street, the accuser felt Sesame Workshop’s lawyers were trying to muzzle him … so he lawyered up with Andreozzi and Associates — the firm that represented one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.