NEW YORK — Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigned from Sesame Street on Tuesday amid allegations he sexually abused underage boys, bringing an end to a 28-year career in which he turned the furry red monster into one of the most beloved characters on TV and in toy stores.
"Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer," the 52-year-old performer said in a statement.
His departure came as a 24-year-old college student, Cecil Singleton, sued Clash for $5 million Tuesday, accusing the actor of engaging in sexual behavior with him when he was 15.
On Nov. 12, a man in his 20s said he had sex with Clash at age 16. A day later, the young man recanted, saying their relationship was adult and consensual.