Sex Accuser on Elmo Puppeteer Resignation
November 21, 2012
The Insider met with the man who first claimed to have an underage sexual relationship with Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, for his first interview since the scandal broke.
Accusations made by Sheldon Stephens, 24, were later recanted, but Clash soon resigned from the job that he held for 28 years. When The Insider spoke to Stephens in his Pennsylvania dorm room, he said that he wasn't aware of Clash's resignation.
"I have not really been keeping up with any media reports, so I haven't really read that far into things," said Stephens. "But it's a really difficult situation to try to explain how someone else is feeling. All I know is how I'm going to move on with my life and my family and try to fix this situation."
When asked about the recanted accusations, Stephens contested that he didn't personally make a statement of recantation.
"There were a lot of rumors that got out," said Stephens. "So basically, there were rumors involved with that recantation. There were people speaking like they were me, but all those allegations and all those rumors are false."
But the aspiring model also wouldn't make a definitive statement regarding the allegations of underage sex when asked directly if his original accusations were true or not.
"I can't really answer that question on camera," said Stephens. "But, like I said, there were a lot of rumors that got out. So I'm just trying to protect myself and the image of my family, myself and my brand."
Stephens also addressed criminal rumors surrounding him.
"They said I held a prior boss up at knife point and robbed him for $250,000 worth of jewelry, but that was a whole misconception which was blown out of proportion," said Stephens. "Later on the police found that those accusations were false and later dismissed the charges against me, so I don't have a criminal record ... I've never been arrested for robbing anyone at knifepoint. That was all false information."
Since Clash's resignation, a second man, Cecil Singleton, 24, has come forward, alleging that he engaged in sexual contact (though not intercourse) with Clash while underage. Singleton is suing Clash for $5 million.