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Elmo puppeteer accused of underage sex with a boy

Elmo and Kevin Clash pose for photographers on the red carpet at the Kennedy Center in Washington
Elmo and Kevin Clash pose for photographers on the red carpet at the Kennedy Center in Washington in 2011 Credit: Molly Riley / Reuters

The puppeteer of the popular children's TV character Elmo is taking a break from Sesame Street to defend himself against allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Sesame Workshop said that 52-year-old Kevin Clash, who has provided the voice for the puppet since 1984, requested a break to "protect his reputation" after a former partner made the allegations. The age of consent in New York is 17.

A company investigation into the charges found that "the allegations of underage conduct were unsubstantiated".

But in a statement they said that Mr Clash had been disciplined for "violating company policy regarding internet use".

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