While charges and counter-charges were flying in the wake of Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash’s leave of absence from “Sesame Street,” sources close to those controlling both the iconic children’s character and its multi-million-dollar products told this column Monday it was “highly unlikely” Clash would ever return as Elmo’s alter ego.
“In fact, unless things suddenly move in Kevin’s direction right away, and he is proven to be a victim of an ugly smear — rather than an adult sexual predator of a minor — he is finished in the world of children’s entertainment,” said a source close to the situation.
As for Clash, 52, it should be noted that while the usually gregarious Muppet mainstay admits to a relationship with a younger man (now age 23), he vehemently denies it began when the man was 16, as the accuser alleged in communications with Sesame Workshop executives back in June.
A second source speculates — based on information he has received by several close Clash associates — that this whole incident may be traced to a possible “lovers’ quarrel … something that turned very ugly and possibly may have involved a demand for money from Kevin in order to make this whole thing go away.”
It’s clear Sesame Workshop and its attorneys took the charges very seriously — having met twice with the unidentified accuser.
Interestingly, following his initial meeting with Sesame Workshop, the young man hired Andreozzi & Associates — the firm recently in the press for representing convicted child molester