Elmo puppeteer’s latest child abuse victims

Another man has come forward to say he had underage sexual contact with Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash. Cecil Singleton, 24, (pictured at left) who’s suing for $5 million, said during a news conference in New York City on Tuesday that he didn’t know Clash provided the voice of Elmo, adding, “I was shocked when I found out what he did for a living.” He said when he was 15, he met Clash online in a gay chat room and they later engaged in sexual touching, including dry-humping, but not intercourse. Singleton added, “It has occurred to me as an adult how truly inappropriate my relationship with Kevin was.” Last week Sheldon Stephens, 23, claimed he’d been sexually touched by Clash when he was 16, but recanted his accusation after accepting a settlement of $125,000. Singleton said he was inspired to come forward after learning about Stephens. Sesame Workshop called the controversy “a distraction that none of us want,” while announcing that Clash had resigned. Clash is featured in the 2012 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. Singleton’s lawyer, Jeff Herman, says he’s been contacted by two other potential victims.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Christina • November 21, 2012 @ 7:03 PM

    Okay, let’s be honest, when Singleton claims to have done this it was CONSENSUAL. He’s just suing Clash for his money now that he knows that he’s famous. Shame on him. Clash is retiring from Sesame Street for this. Singleton and Stephens are basically killing Elmo. Childhood = ruined. Thanks.

  2. Olive • November 21, 2012 @ 7:57 PM

    My childhood is ruined. Thanks Singleton and Stephens. This is almost as bad as Mitt Romney saying he would shut down PBS. No original Elmo= Not the same Sesame Street. Thanks >(

  3. Daniel • November 21, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

    wait, gay chat? Then pictured at left looks like a woman?! I am confused..

  4. Nobody Important • November 22, 2012 @ 1:14 AM

    Sesame Street needs an episode themed “Dude, don’t sh*t where you eat”, and Kevin Clash should be forced to watch it.

    They should also theme another episode “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” for Cecil Singleton.

  5. zuh • November 22, 2012 @ 9:06 AM

    even IF it was consensual…. anyone under the age of 16 cannot legally CONSENT, even if they say they are.

  6. Miss Piggy • November 22, 2012 @ 11:15 AM

    Dry humping? Inappropriate touching? There was no sex! This lassie of a man, this big girl’s blouse is looking for a quick fix of “hard” earned cash! You stick your hand up a puppet’s behind for a living and see what it feels like. This woMan needs to come to the Street and meet Oscar. He’ll tell her/him where to go.

  7. Kermit The Frog • November 22, 2012 @ 1:18 PM

    Miss Piggy is right and I agree with her.

  8. Hayley • November 22, 2012 @ 2:02 PM

    I can’t believe you are blaming the 16 year old child! How can it be consentual??? The kid wasn’t old enough to smoke, vote, drink, finish high school etc. but he was old enough to be molested by an adult who picked him up in an internet chat?! He was too young to know better but Kevin Clash wasn’t…only it’s not his fault because he was the voice of Elmo?? What the heck??
    And we wonder why we live in a society that lets child abusers or rapists off with 2 years while shoplifters get 10!
    I find your choice for blame incredulous and am very ashamed…this is a sad day for Canada!

  9. BlameGame • November 22, 2012 @ 2:53 PM

    @Hayley – Unfortunately I don’t agree with you. Although the law says differently I believe a 16yr old is capable of making a consentual decision. I was having sex at 16 with people of the ages of 15-19 and it was my decision and I never felt I was violated or put into a situation that wasn’t my choice. I think if Kevin and these two guys wanted to hook up for consentual alone time, they have the right to. Now, if Kevin wanted to do more and pushed them into something that they didn’t want then this would be assault or rape or whatever term you’d use — just like if a 30yr old did the same to a 32yr old. Same thing. Now I am sure your question is — well where do you draw the line at age??? And this is a tough question that obviously the law has decided on (depending on where you live — 15yrs old, 16yrs old or whatever) and personally, I would never have an interest in a girl who was of this age but who am I to judge if a 21yr old guy was interested in a 16-17yr old girl? As long as everyone was safe and no one got hurt, I see no issue with this — straight or gay.

  10. Samantha Lauzon • November 22, 2012 @ 2:57 PM

    Just because a “child” isn’t old enough to vote doesn’t mean they don’t know what consensual intercourse is. Christ anyone over 10 knows and some even younger. It’s sad to think these greedy people are running the life of such a talented performer. One question I have to ask is did this person inform him of his being underage? I mean most 12yr olds look 16 now and most 16yr olds look 20! It’s scary.

    Miss Piggy I agree the person said there was no intercourse. It’s all just so sad.

  11. sng • November 22, 2012 @ 3:01 PM

    wish the title of the article would name the person not the Muppet

  12. yvon • November 22, 2012 @ 3:11 PM

    how did this guy not know he was famous he sounds like a golddigger sitting so feminine with his liar i mean lawyer..;.nothing like ruinning the elmo guys career…;i hope they find something in his closet to use against him

  13. Sol • November 22, 2012 @ 3:17 PM

    Oh my God, not the “he killed my childhood” crap again – reminds me of geeks whining about George Lucas and Star Wars. Sorry folks, but your childhood is safely locked away in the past – it’s over – it can’t be retroactively ruined by a serial child diddler. And besides, Elmo wasn’t the one committing statutory rape, it was Kevin Clash – Elmo just sat in the corner staring with his bulging, unblinking eyes…

  14. Sol • November 22, 2012 @ 3:19 PM

    Bahahah – I just realized the title of the article is “ELMO’S Latest Child Abuse Victims” – Tribute better be careful – that’s a slanderous accusation against a very lucrative bit of Children’s Workshop’s intellectual property.

  15. Tanya • November 22, 2012 @ 3:22 PM

    I think it’s important to put these things into some serious perspective. First of all, nine years ago, Clash would have been 43 years old, and we all know that chasing after someone who is younger than you by more than half your age is gross. Secondly, we don’t know for sure if the guy above even told Clash his age – a lot of girls I knew in high school would always lie about their age in their hopes of dating someone older. We need to understand that this really does happen. And at 15 or 16 years of age, many people are consensually having intercourse, but what I’m concerned with are all of the external factors that contribute to “consensual” meetings of any kind, sexual or not. Clash is living the life of someone who is well respected, very successful and a celebrity in his own right, and I think that anyone who is single and looking to make their way in the world would find his lifestyle appealing. Lastly, I’m sad that he is leaving Sesame Street, but he should have known better. Running a very dedicated and well-loved television show for children (which has been a part of my life and the lives of my children) and partaking in anything sexual with anyone under the age of 18 probably has many of the folks on the show shaking their heads.

  16. tdt • November 22, 2012 @ 3:25 PM

    I agree with sng. When Jim Henson died the Kermit character lived on. Elmo is a magical character to kids. Real in their minds. Allow this character to be seperate from a man’s personal life. When he leaves the studio he does not take Elmo with him. He becomes Kevin. A man that will make choices. Some good, some bad. Leave the character out of this. Elmo can continue to be something magical for kids. This may be the end of it unfortunately.

    It’s sad because if he was just Kevin and not a celebrity, in any way, there would probably be no law suit. Those that try to get rich quick and don’t care about collateral damage.

  17. Barney • November 22, 2012 @ 4:19 PM

    I agree that What Kevin did was wrong at the time but being Gay myself I know that a lot of Gay people develop and mature sexually very early in life. I am sure that the sex was not one sided. I only wish now that we know the guy has lost his respect and job can’t we just leave him alone and not have to hear this story over and over again. Elmo is a special character and I want to remember him like he was.

  18. Trevor • November 22, 2012 @ 4:53 PM

    This thing pictured above is so gross!!! Yuck!!!!

  19. Lisa_Lipstick • November 22, 2012 @ 6:11 PM

    If a “child” can be tried in a court of law as an adult, for murder or violent crimes, why are they not held responsible for acting in a sexual manner, even if it is with someone above the legal age? I think it should be judged according to the situation. Kevin did not force himself on this “boy”… there is no crime here, as far as I am concerned, but rather a cash-grab. I’m so sorry that Kevin is being hurt this way, much more than these so-called victims.

  20. C-Dub • November 22, 2012 @ 6:13 PM

    Gay chat site. You were voluntarily on a gay chat site. Did you not have an expectation of something happening? Apparently in BC consentual age is 14!! I was at a dinner party and that topic came up and we looke dup the law and it’s true! that floors me. It’s not saying the same law is wherever they are from, but if you are on a site singling out your sexual orientation and agree to meet (apparently didn’t even have intercourse) then there is a certain expectaion that comes along with that non?

    And ya people are going to reply saying well if a lady wears a skirt and low cut top and orders the steak and lobster does that mean automatic sex? No, cause read my comment. They didn’t have sex, but the site implies openess to that and I’m sure the conversations on it made it clear what could happen when they met up.

    Poor Elmo. That was a powerhouse figure in the childrens entertainment industry. There will be another..

  21. Shakes My Head • November 22, 2012 @ 6:34 PM

    First things First, On any of these dating ,Chat sites , whether it’s Gay, Straight, Whatever. There is an age of 18 , (Same as Facebook & Twitter. If you read the pages of legal jargon ) that implies you are 18 ( unless you are lying about your age) So my question is ,Where were this guy’s parents and they were defiantly not teaching their child the value of truth and honesty when this all was taking place.

  22. Samantha Michell • November 22, 2012 @ 7:14 PM

    OMG, I can’t believe this person- Cecil Singelton. Obviously he was looking for someone, whether it be Kevin Clash or the next gay person…….AS ZSOON AS he found out OMG this guy is loaded, I’m gonna hit him up for some MONEY. You should look at yourself in the Mirror and ask yourself, then (WHEN IT HAPPENED) If you knew he was famous then would you have gone through with it…..PROBABLY cause you went ON-LINE to look for compassion. Grow the frick up & realize that you were in the wrong. You went looking for love & obviously found it, then came the shame of knowing who it was with & then the lawsuit…….Pretty harsh, just another scandel to me!
    Elmo- Kevin Clash , you rock ! I would fight this all the way!

  23. Chilliemarie • November 22, 2012 @ 8:21 PM

    Kevin is not the original voice of Elmo, so don’t say Sesame Street/your childhood will be ruined because it won’t be the original voice. If you were true fans, or in fact even just read the news you would know he is the fourth person to portray Elmo.

  24. Snepts • November 22, 2012 @ 9:09 PM

    Does this mean “Tickle Me Elmo’s” will be half-price in December?

  25. S. Walker • November 22, 2012 @ 9:24 PM

    The age of consent in B.C. and all of Canada is 16, unless th older person is less than 5 years older. Then it is 14.

  26. Sam • November 22, 2012 @ 11:57 PM

    @S. Walker That’s fairly new. When this happened, legal age in all of Canada was 14. It was only… what? 3 years ago that it got bumped to to 16 with the 5 year rule for 14 and 15 year olds.

  27. bigski • November 23, 2012 @ 1:11 AM

    when I was much younger the age of consent was also 14,as a “Child”of 16 I graduated High School If you commited a crime then you were also tried as an adult..wait a minute Steven Truscott was given the death penalty at 14 sent to Kingston Pen!..for something he never did!,a 14 year old back then looked like a 14 year old Not a 21 year old,so age of consent at 14 they say at 16 appropriate touching..can we say money grag here!

  28. lol • November 23, 2012 @ 1:36 AM

    You know, pulling the victim card will only get you so far when the signs are obvious that you’re after his money. Yeah, let’s blame the relationship on the conscience, who at 15, didn’t make any decisions whatsoever.

  29. squirt • November 23, 2012 @ 8:20 AM

    I can’t believe some of these comments:

    “THX for ruining my childhood”?? Really? Are you not missing the point that this Elmo voice had sexual relations (minus the sex) with a minor?? Would you feel this way if this were your child?

    And to say that at 15 this kid should have known what he was getting into? Hello, we’re dealing with an adult luring a near-child to hook up! Judging from some of your comments, and I’m assuming most of you are adults, I can’t even imagine how bright and worldly YOU were at 15 let alone now!! Then BlameGame goes on to brag about having had sex at that age with whomever..honestly now.

    I think Hayley is one of the few people who has anything intelligent and sane to add to this conversation!

  30. buzuki • November 23, 2012 @ 11:52 AM

    Here is nothing about moral standards, but only about money that someone found how to get… It is just our crazy modern world with so many sexual scandals which were started because somebody made money on it. I have no respect for the man who does it to a woman, even if she was wrong and her behaviour may be not appropriate… How many much worse not appropriate behaviours… At old times fathers paid for the lessons of their growing sons with some experienced in sex women, that wasn’t abnormal. I have doubt that what she did could break something in the psych of growing man. For me, this Singleton is not a man, not a gentlemen, and the victim here is Clash.
    All is upside-down in our times and justice is theater, laws are misused by those who have no shame themselves. Feel really sorry for Kevin Clash, nothing terrible I see in her behaviour

  31. SirJohnPaulMcDeath • November 24, 2012 @ 6:51 AM

    Kevin Clash knew the Law,that’s the bottom line.Especially knowing his position in the community and on Sesame street,he should have known better.You don’t blame the victim(s)! As an adult i may find a 16 year old girl beautiful and attractive but also as an adult i respect the law and the girls youth. I rest my case! Poor Elmo!

  32. Pearlily • November 24, 2012 @ 2:17 PM

    Victim is a term that is too loosly used. These two men coming forward for alledged sexual abuse aren’t victims. No matter what the law, the sexual contact was consentual. Period. Laws regarding sexual contact regarding teenagers and adults shouldn’t be so white and black. Each case should be looked at individually. If he had raped them, then yes, this uproar would be justified. However, this point is brought up again: As far as it appears, Mr. Clash may not have known these men were underage. These men may have lied and said they were legal age, looked as much, so Mr. Clash didn’t question them. You cannot blame him for someone else not being honest. You can, however, blame these two men. They knew what they were doing. They knew they were potentially going to be involved with an older man. They knew they were underage. It doesn’t matter that the law says they weren’t of constentual age, they consented to have sexual contact. If Mr. Clash knew their age, then yes, he was in the wrong, he made a poor decision to follow through with sexual contact with these now men. Society and the “law” doesn’t give enough credit to these children to make their own decisions, so these children manipulate the laws to get what they want, which is in all cases like this, is money. I agree that it is sad that so long has passed since these events that these men now feel the need to ruin someone else’s life in order to gain money.

  33. BigBird. • November 24, 2012 @ 6:23 PM

    ^ If they were under age and he was an adult:HE IS IN THE WRONG!!! If this were anyone else you’d want him locked up! One can only speculate as to what he did to that poor puppet!

  34. Peanut Butter • November 25, 2012 @ 5:08 AM

    Sesame Street is filmed in NYC, NOT Canada, the french is the only part of it that might be filmed in Canada, so talking about Canadian law does not have anything to do with the “crime” unless it was commited in Canada!

    Never liked Elmo in the first place, I find him irritating and annoying to say the least; but as it had been so aptly pointed out, Elmo and Kevin are not one in the same. Those of you who are whinning about your “ruined childhoods”, Really???? I guess you were also the ones devistated when Barney was busted for drugs too.

    As for the important aspects of the article, we run into many aspects of the he/shes story which supports it is a money grab, such as “I was shocked when I found out what he did for a living.” and this is when he decids it was wrong?? It was only after someone else came forward and settled out of court that he’s now sueing??? Yet they’re not pressing criminal charges? why is that? Again as pointed out, on a chat site (implying he’s 18+), agrees to meet up with another man (and as to where his parents were, did your parents always know where you were the whole time you were under 18?) what did he think would happen? He even stats it was consetual, therefore the “victim” has at least 50% of the blame to bare. If a 12 year old can be charged as an adult, why can’t a 15 year old face the same level of consequences, unless he’s developmentally challenged ofcourse and really 4?

    Kevin was wrong for having ANY sexual contact with any jail-bait piece of crap, but if he was told, or led to believe his consenting partner was of age, can you really blame him? If he knew, and the age of consent was 15, he still did nothing wrong, but if he knew he was 15 and it was against the law, then yes he’s in the wrong too.

    It must be nice to be so perfect, and know that your morals are the only morals that matter. There are people who are attracted to much older people for varrious reasons, and vice versa. You do not pick and choose who you fall in love with, you just fall; it doesn’t matter what one’s age is, love doesn’t care about age. This is in regards to those who think it’s wrong to like someone 1/2 their own age. You are judgeing Kevin’s morals for liking younger men, perhaps he was going through a mid life crsis, and wanted the 18 year old “girl”friend, we don’t know the circumstances, so it’s wrong for us to judge the side of the story we don’t have.

  35. Brian • November 26, 2012 @ 9:13 PM

    These people where children they are not mature enough toknow the repercussions of their actions he is a adult he knew it was wrong and if all was consentual then way pay them off think about it remind you of anyone else. Enough said

  36. cynthia • November 28, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

    OMG! whats wrong with you people!!!! ” Singleton and Stephens are basically killing Elmo. Childhood = ruined.” ???????????????????????????
    Kevin Clash pervert should be in jail for r the rest of his life like anybody touching children!
    @Hayley: 100% agree

  37. cynthia • November 28, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

    OMG! What is wrong with you People!!!! ” Singleton and Stephens are basically killing Elmo. Childhood = ruined.” ???????????????????????????
    Kevin Clash pervert should be in jail for r the rest of his life like anybody touching children!
    @Hayley: 100% agree

  38. cynthia • November 28, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

    OMG! What is wrong with you People!!!! ” Singleton and Stephens are basically killing Elmo. Childhood = ruined.” ???????????????????????????
    Kevin Clash pervert should be in jail for the rest of his life, no child should go through abuse!
    @Hayley: 100% agree

  39. LINDSEY • November 28, 2012 @ 11:40 AM

    ” …You are judgeing Kevin’s morals for liking younger men, perhaps he was going through a mid life crsis, and wanted the 18 year old “girlfriend…..” ???????
    REALLY???????? WHAT A SICK COMMENT!!!!!!

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