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MAN RECANTS CLAIM AGAINST PUPPETEER

Associated Press

NEW YORK - A man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy has recanted his story.

In a quick turnabout, the man on Tuesday described his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.

Clash responded with a statement of his own, saying he is "relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest." He had no further comment.

The man, who has not identified himself, released his statement through the Harrisburg, Pa., law firm Andreozzi & Associates.

Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street in New York, soon followed by saying, "We are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode."

The episode began Monday morning, when Sesame Workshop announced that Clash had taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations that he had had a relationship with a 16-year-old.

Clash, a 52-year-old divorced father of a grown daughter, denied the charges of his accuser, who is in his early 20s.

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