Kevin Clash’s Accuser Had Been Identified As Aspiring Model And Troubled Youth Sheldon Stephens

Plus... There Are Rumors Of A Six-Figure Settlement

Up until now the accuser behind the Kevin Clash (voice of Elmo) sexual abuse allegations has remained anonymous. When the accuser recanted his allegations yesterday, many of us became very curious– and concerned– as to why he was changing his tune. Since the story first broke we’ve been wondering about the accuser’s identity and we finally have some answers. The accuser has been identified as Sheldon Stephens, an aspiring model with a rap sheet that is raising some eyebrows. But before we begin the public condemning of the guy who possibly lied and ruined a very talented man’s reputations, let’s keep in mind that reports are ALSO surfacing about a six-figure settlement between Sheldon and Kevin Clash. Hmmm. Click inside to learn more.

The NY Post has the story:

The man who accused Elmo Muppeteer Kevin Clash of having sex with him when he was underage has been identified as a wannabe model with multiple prior arrests — including one for a knifepoint robbery, according to a report.

The accuser, identified by the Smoking Gun web site as Sheldon Stephens, contacted Clash’s bosses at “Sesame Street” to claim he had sex with Clash when he was 16 years old.

Stephens, 24, quickly recanted Tuesday, one day after the allegations became public and Clash, 52, was forced to take a leave of absence from the beloved childhood program.

TMZ reported Stephens released the statement after lawyers for him and Clash began discussions on a possible “six-figure” financial settlement.

Clash, a divorced dad who lives on the Upper West Side, e-mailed Stephens in either 2010 or 2011 and apologized for not being able to keep his mind off the much younger man.

“I’m sorry that I keep talking to you about sex with you, it’s driving me insane,” Clash wrote, according to TMZ.

Stephens, of Harrisburg, Pa., lived in Brooklyn from 2007 to 2008 when, according to his résumé obtained by the Smoking Gun, he was an intern at Blowback Productions in Chelsea.

On his Facebook page, Stephens says, “I like to consider myself a rare breed. I’m very spontaneous and random…I’m determined and goal oriented. My destiny is laid on a solid gold brick pathway … MY FUTURE IS BRIGHT and never will it dim.”

But Stephens’ past includes an arrest for allegedly robbing a former boss of a $250,000 gold necklace at knifepoint in 2009, according to the Smoking Gun.

Stephens allegedly ripped off the jewelry in California from music manager Darian Pollard after being fired from his internship.

Stephens was taken into custody after returning to Pennsylvania, but California authorities never pursued the case. the Smoking Gun reported.

Stephens, whose modeling Web site lists him as single, also has been arrested for passing a bad check, and reckless driving.

His mother, Felicia Stephens, 48, was busted in 2011 for allegedly stabbing her husband with scissors.

Felicia, charged with attempted murder, is free on bail pending trial in Pennsylvania.

Sheldon stood by his mother, telling the Harrisburg Patriot News, “My mom is the nicest person in the world.”

This is the site that broke the story. They have more pictures of Sheldon here.

Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of all this. I did find all of this interesting in light of a comment PITNBR Ella wrote, wondering about his past and whether or not he might have been an ‘at risk’ youth.

Right now, it all sounds like a hot mess of a drama… some real SVU type ish and it’s hard to say who is trustworthy. Sheldon has pretty much lost all credibility by recanting the allegations, but I also hate to see people painting a stark portrait of a criminal– as if criminals cannot be sexually abused. I’m not even completely comfortable with my headline, but I do want to be honest about this person’s past.

Does this new information about Sheldon and the alleged settlement change your thoughts on this case?

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  1. miguel

    Hmmm….FIGURES.

  2. “I’m very spontaneous and random…I’m determined and goal oriented.”

    Jumbo shrimp… “What are things that are oxymorons?”

    I’m still hesitant to judge. I mean, what if he was telling the truth but the lawyers from the other side came back and said, “You did this, this and this, and if you pursue this case we’ll bring it all to light and you’ll be going down in flames. Here, how about we throw some money in your general direction and we forget about this whole thing?”

    I don’t usually like to bring in the rape comparisons, but it is like the way rape victims are grilled about their sexual history, what they were wearing and then disregarded because they were asking for it. You’ve robbed people? Your mom is being accused of murder? Pfft. Nobody is going to believe that you didn’t want this.

  3. I think it is a bad idea to make any guesses right now. Criminals can be abuse victims, and innocent people can make payouts because that is the easiest and quickest way for false allegations to go away. Ultimately, we probably just have to accept the fact that we will never know one way or the other.

    The sexual email conversations seem to have taken place when the guy was 23 or 22…which is a really long way from 16. I would be interested to see if there is any documentation of their communication during the years when he was a minor.

  4. Matthew

    1. Sheldon approached Sesame Street and the accused instead of approaching the police, presumably demanding money.
    2. The accused takes a leave of absence to fight the allegations, acknowledging that there was a sexual affair, but not when this person was 16.
    3. Emails are found confirming that they flirted…when Sheldon was older
    4. Sheldon takes back all his allegations, claiming it never happened.
    5. Sheldon’s legal representation drops him, announcing that they no longer represent him
    6. Other details of Sheldon’s life are revealed, including his picture, the fact that he is an aspiring model/actor, and that he has a verified criminal record.

    On the one hand, Sheldon’s tactics from step 1 kind of indicate he was seeking to extort instead of seeking justice. On the other hand, this reminds me of that other story where the male model claims he was coerced to masturbate at the photo shoot. There tends to be not as much sympathy when a male gets exploited. It’s a tough call.

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