"Sesame Street" muppet Elmo and puppeteer Kevin Clash / AP Photo/Victoria Will, file
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Kevin Clash, longtime Elmo puppeteer, resigned from "Sesame Street" amid new allegations that he had an underage sexual relationship, Sesame Workshop said Tuesday.
Last week, a man accused Clash, 52, week of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy. Clash denied the accusations and the man recanted a day later.
A lawsuit by a second accuser was filed Tuesday, alleging that Cecil Singleton, then 15 and now an adult, was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters.
Sesame Workshop called the controversy surrounding Clash's personal life "a distraction that none of us want," leading Clash to conclude "that he can no longer be effective in his job."
For decades, Clash played the voice and persona for Elmo, who has become one of the most popular characters on "Sesame Street."