Kevin Clash is no longer facing a claim that he was involved in an underage sexual relationship.
The unidentified man who accused Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer of the "Sesame Street" character Elmo, has recanted the claim of having intimate relations with him when he was a minor.
The law firm that represented the accuser, Andreozzi & Associates, said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times that "he wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship."
"He will have no further comment on the matter," the statement added.
"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest," Clash said through a rep in a statement to People. "I will not discuss it further."
While the Sesame Workshop has yet to announce when Clash would return back to work, the company responded to the accuser's reversal in a statement saying, "We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode."
Mr. Clash had taken a leave of absence from Sesame Workshop, the organization that produces "Sesame Street," to challenge the allegations he had sex with an underage male. Sesame Workshop conducted an investigation that led to Clash being disciplined because he had "violated company policy regarding internet usage."
Clash reportedly sent an inappropriate email to his former lover. In the electronic message, Clash apologized profusely to the unidentified male for constantly "talking about sex."
"I'm sorry that I keep talking about sex with you, it's driving me insane," Clash reportedly said. "I want you to know that I love you and I will never hurt you," Clash wrote. "I'm here to protect you and make sure your dreams come true. I'll have my assistant book a ticket for you to come to NY and we can talk about this in person."
Clash confirmed he'd been in a relationship with the accuser, but not when the accuser was a minor. He admitted that he sent the email after the man turned 18, according to TMZ.
Clash, who has been the voice and personality behind Elmo for 28 years, defended the accusations in a statement:
"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. 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. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation."