Something tells me this story is absolutely not going away any time soon. Just when it seems like we have some answers, or some understanding as to what transpired between Kevin Clash (the voice of Sesame Street‘s Elmo) and Sheldon Stephens, there’s a new development in the story. Last week we learned that Stephens was allegedly paid $125,000 to recant his allegations of sexual abuse against famed and respected voice actor puppeteer, Clash. We also learned that Stephens had a sketchy criminal past, and that he was an aspiring model. Apparently, he’s now coming forward and saying that he was basically forced to sign the settlement and recant, and he wants to undo the settlement because Kevin Clash really did have sex with him when he was underage. Click inside to learn more.
TMZ has the update:
The man who accused Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, of having sex with him while he was underage stands by his story, claims he was pressured into recanting it, and is now interviewing lawyers to help him undo his settlement.
TMZ broke the story … Clash and Sheldon Stephens entered into a settlement in which Clash agreed to pay Stephens $125,000, but in return the agreement provides the following:
“Stephens agrees that immediately upon execution of this Agreement, his counsel, Andreozzi & Associates, P.C., shall release the [following] statement … ‘He [Stephens] wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.’”
We’ve learned Stephens has met with lawyers in Los Angeles and told them he was pressured into recanting his allegation and insists he’s telling the truth when he says he had sex with Clash when he was 16.
Stephens — who is now 23 — is telling lawyers he will gladly forfeit the $125,000 to restore his name. Stephens is saying he was literally crying during the final negotiations and repeatedly said he didn’t want to sign.
Clash’s lawyer told us Friday he would have no comment on the settlement story.
As I said on the last post, I can no longer say one way or another if any of this even sounds true, or who’s story makes the most sense. If Stephens is telling the truth, hopefully he’ll find representation and get the justice he seeks. If he’s now lying (again… because he first recanted and said that the allegations were false), then hopefully the truth will eventually come to light.