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UPDATE: Underage Sex Claims Against Voice of Elmo Recanted

Update, Nov. 13, 5:15 p.m.: Clash’s accuser has recanted his allegations, saying the two shared an “adult consensual relationship.” Clash added in a statement: “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”

Original post: Kevin Clash, the actor behind Sesame Street’s Elmo since 1985, has taken a leave of absence after allegations surfaced that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Clash admits he had a relationship with his accuser, now 23, but he told TMZ that he was of legal age at the time. “It was between two consenting adults,” Clash said. “I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”

Sesame Workshop officials met with the accuser at least twice and stand by Clash, saying no evidence exists to prove the claims. Meanwhile, his accuser has sought legal assistance from a firm best known for representing one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims.