The Baltimore-born Clash has vehemently denied the accusations. According to TMZ, the 23-year-old accuser says the two began a sexual relationship seven years ago, when he was 16 and Clash, 45. Clash has acknowledged he had a relationship with the man, but said that it didn't begin until after he had become an adult.
"I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter," Clash said in a statement released by his publicist Monday morning. "I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was."
Officials at Sesame Workshop, which produces the long-running
The accuser has since contacted Andreozzi and Associates, a legal firm that represented one of the victims in the case of former Penn State assistant coach
A receptionist at the
Sesame officials said they met with the accuser twice and had "repeated communications with him." They told TMZ they asked for additional evidence from the accuser but never received it, the website reported.
Officials also told TMZ that they found emails between Clash and the accuser that did not include evidence of a sexual relationship, TMZ reported.
In their statement, Sesame officials said their investigation "did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage and he was disciplined."
"Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory and he is taking actions to protect his reputation," Sesame Workshop officials wrote. "We have granted him a leave of absence to do so."
In their statement, Sesame officials assured that Elmo "is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of 'Sesame Street.' "