NEW YORK (AP) — A man who initially recanted sex abuse allegations against the former puppeteer of the "Sesame Street" character Elmo has sued him, alleging the entertainer lured him into drug-fueled sex when he was 16.

"I was taken advantage of by someone a lot older, and manipulated," Sheldon Stephens, who's now 24, told a Manhattan news conference on Tuesday.

He said he had met puppeteer Kevin Clash at a networking event for models and actors, and was later brought by limousine from his home in Pennsylvania to a New York apartment. There, Stephens said, Clash smoked crystal meth while giving the teenager another recreational drug.

In a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Pennsylvania, Stephens accused the 52-year-old Clash of sexual battery for childhood sexual abuse; travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct; and coercion and enticement to sexual activity. Stephens is asking for unspecified damages and coverage of his legal expenses.

Clash's attorney, Michael Berger, said in a statement Tuesday that his client denies any wrongdoing. He said Stephens already admitted he had had an adult consensual relationship with Clash.

Three other men also are suing Clash, alleging underage sex. Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" in November.

Stephens first made the allegations last year. His lawyer, Jeff Herman, said Stephens recanted over the possibility of a settlement, but none was ever reached. Herman said his client would not discuss details of any possible agreement.

Stephens said at the news conference that he was 22 when the relationship ended. He said he only took action after watching "Sesame Street" with his young nieces.

"When I started to realize my nieces were idolizing this character, it just disgusted me inside because I knew what had happened to me," Stephens said.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel