All Articles Tagged "kevin clash"
The United States Court of Appeals recently dismissed three sex abuse lawsuits brought against former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash,” RadarOnline reports. As you may recall, three men—Cecil Singleton, Kevin Kiadii and a man who identified himself under the initials of S.M.—all claimed to have been sexually abused by Clash as teenagers more than ten years ago.
Though their lawsuits against Clash were initially thrown out by a New York judge last July because the six-year statute of limitation expired, the men took their cases to the Court of Appeals, where they also lost.While the men claimed that they didn’t fully realize the impacts of the sexual abuse until 2012, the Court of Appeals ruled that they “failed to provide any reason why [they] were unable to discover their injuries prior to 2012.” The Court found that their argument was “without merit” and moved to dismiss all three of their lawsuits.
While this is a huge victory for Clash, he isn’t completely out of the clear. He still faces a lawsuit filed by Sheldon Stephens, who accused the former “Sesame Street” star of smoking crystal meth while sexually abusing him when he was 16.
It appears that this long-lived saga may finally be coming to an end soon.
It has been a few months since we’ve heard anything about the lawsuits pending against ex-Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash but that doesn’t mean the wheels haven’t been turning.
His lawyer Michael Berger filed a brief in the New York Federal Court on Friday claiming statute of limitations should be applicable in all three cases. He states:
“There are two applicable types of statutes of limitations, a six-year one based on when the right of action has accrued, and a three-year one based on when the alleged victim turned eighteen and was therefore no longer under the disability of being a minor.”
With that in mind, he went on to say that all three men – Cecil Singleton who said he first came in contact with Clash in 2003, “John Doe” who said his relationship began in 2000 and S.M., who said his affair with Clash happened in the mid-90s -would have had to file their lawsuits in 2009, 2006 and 2001, respectively to fit in the first option of the statute or in 2009, 2003 and 2001, respectively, to fit into the second statute.
It should be noted, and was pointed out by attorney Jeff Herman who represents all three men he spoke to E! Online, that there is no denial on Clash’s part of sexual misconduct:
“It should be noted his motion does not say the abuse did not happen, just that it is too late to file the complaints. The law we are proceeding under recognizes the rights of victims to bring their lawsuits within six years from the time they connect their injuries to the abuse. We are hopeful the Court will see it our way, however, by being able to bring their claims forth publicly the victims are already further along in the healing process.”
That is, indeed, interesting as is the fact that none of the alleged victims are seeking that criminal charges be brought up against Clash. These are all civil suits seeking financial damages.
If this goes to trial, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Clash’s latest loss comes from the hands of Warner Bros. Pictures, who has reportedly canned an untitled upcoming feature film that was in development with the puppeteer. According to development document obtained by Vulture, Clash was working with the studio in recent months to develop a new character centered around “a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ kind of movie about a kid and his stuffed animal that takes on a life of its own because of the child’s imagination.”
Although Warner Bros. has severed ties with the developing film, one insider close to the project revealed to the site that it’s unlikely another studio may be interested in the motion picture due to Clash’s recent controversy.
Read the rest at BlackVoices
In MN’s Year In Review, we’re counting down our top stories as well as the biggest moments in television, music, movies, and news.
With so much going on every day, most news stories end up being big today and forgotten tomorrow, but these 10 stories were so shocking, sad, and disturbing they stuck with us all year. Check out the list:
In April, 18-year-old Port Richey, FL, mom Chekayla Dampier was arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse after she put her 7-week-old baby under scalding hot water to punish him for crying excessively. A little over a week later, the baby boy died from the burns he suffered as a result of the 142-degree water which left him with severe burns to his head, chest, arms, and even his eyes and ears.
As a child, many of us looked up to iconic characters such as Big Bird, Pee Wee Herman, and Mr. Rogers. Now as an adult, it is somewhat unsettling to see the scandals that have unfolded behind some of tv’s popular kid shows. Read more…
Just a little over a week ago, allegations dropped that famed puppeteer Kevin Clash, who has been behind beloved characters like bass playing Clifford from “The Jim Henson Hour,” Baby Sinclair from the popular show “Dinosaurs” and of course, Elmo, had a relationship with an underage gentleman. Since then, Clash and his defense team have been very clear that they’re ready to fight the allegations as they said that while he did have a relationship with the accuser, Sheldon Stephens, they dated after the young man was of age. By the end of last week, Stephens recanted his claims, and then later claimed he was paid off and didn’t want to take back what he said. You would think that with the accuser’s credibility looking very tired at this point that Clash would be somewhere in good spirits, but today he spent the morning parting ways with the folks at the Sesame Workshop. According to a blog on The New York Times, after nearly 30 years of working for them, Clash decided that he could no longer be effective in his role with the company because of the negative attention surrounding him and resigned.
He probably came to this conclusion after reports came out that there is a second man saying he had an underage sexual relationship with the puppeteer. According to TMZ, the second accuser, Cecil Singleton, has come forward to say he had a relationship with Clash some 20 odd years ago but just came out about it because he “did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.”
While it remains to be seen what exactly will happen to Kevin Clash with all these new claims and reports coming out, according to The New York Times, Elmo will continue on as cash cow and pretty much the most famed puppet they have on Sesame Street. Someone else will fill the role of puppeteer for the beloved red monster and with the help of Clash, the company had already pinpointed people that could take over for him (maybe Clash was considering retiring soon?), and they had started to do so when allegations first came out. But at this point, everyone is asking how Clash’s reputation, which has been tarnished by the either true claims or malicious lies of a few, will affect the Sesame Street brand, particularly the character of Elmo. Will parents still be able to watch the show, check out “Elmo’s World” with their children and feel okay about it? Will they buy Elmo products more or less? Time will tell. If the allegations are false, hopefully Clash can have his name cleared (the claims just seem really shady since they’re coming around the same time and for the purpose of collecting money), but if they’re true, he’ll have to deal with the consequences and I’m pretty sure Elmo’s popularity will take an even bigger hit. But as someone who used to LOVE Elmo as a kid, and went on to be very fond of Clash after watching the documentary on his life, Being Elmo, I have to admit that this is a very sad day indeed for Muppet lovers everywhere.
Here’s a clip of Singleton making his case at a press conference today. Are you surprised Clash resigned? Was it the appropriate move at this point?
Who didn’t see this coming? First the accusation, then the PR statement, then the denials, now the walking papers. All before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dang! Then again, who wants to know that the guy behind Elmo, yes – Kevin Clash was a young boy lover. Yuck! However, you are innocent until proven guilty. Sesame Street wants no controversy, so goodbye – don’t let the door hit you.
According to our buddies over at TMZ:
Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has resigned from Sesame Street … in the immediate wake of a new lawsuit accusing him of having sex with an underage boy — the second such accusation in 2 weeks.
TMZ broke the story … Clash is being sued by Cecil Singleton, who claims he met Kevin in a gay phone chat back in ’93 … when he was 15 and Clash was 32.
Sesame Workshop says, “Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”
Sesame Workshop had previously told TMZ, “Elmo is bigger than any one person.” That was in response to the initial underage sex accusation from Sheldon Stephens.
As TMZ previously reported … Stephens signed a $125,000 settlement with Clash, but has since expressed regret over signing the deal which required him to recant his claim.
Just when you thought it was over, Sheldon Stephens strikes again. During the last couple of weeks, media outlets have been on fire with news surrounding accusations made by 23-year-old aspiring model, Sheldon Stephans against Kevin Clash, Elmo puppeteer claiming that Clash had sexual involvement with him while he was underage. Last Tuesday we reported that Stephans came out and recanted his statement regarding Clash’s sexual misconduct and stating that any relations that occurred between the two happened after he was of consenting age.
As if that wasn’t confusing enough, TMZ has a new twist to add to this never ending tale. It seems that Stephen’s now wants to “undo” the settlement that he agreed to, which awarded him with $125,000 in exchange for 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.'”
Now, Sheldon is meeting with lawyers in Los Angeles because he felt that he was “pressured” into recanting his allegations that the Elmo puppeteer slept with him while he was sixteen and that the two did actually have a sexual relationship while he was underage. He claims that he is willing to return the $125,000 to Clash if it means his name will be restored, which is ironic since no one even knew his name prior to this controversy. He also shared that he became extremely emotional during negotiations and kept crying saying that he did not wish to sign the settlement deal.
I would say that this guy is going through the motions because he feels he can get way more out of this than $125,000 or even that he’s simply loving the media attention and wants to stay relevant, but honestly, none of us were there so who know how it all actually went down. Sheldon could very well be telling the truth or he could be lying. Regardless, Clash’s name has been trotted through the mud once again and will probably always be tainted by this scandal in the eyes of the public. One can only hope that the truth prevail over lies and that both men are eventually able to move on with their lives.
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Over the last few days, media outlets have been buzzing with news surrounding the false claims made by Sheldon Stephons that Kevin Clash, the voice and personality behind popular Sesame Street character Elmo had sexual relations with him while he was underage. On Tuesday we reported that after making such an explosive claim, Stephon recanted his statement and revealed that his relationship with Clash occurred after he was of consenting age and that he was a willing participant. Unfortunately, the damage was already done and the Elmo visionary was forced to take a leave of absence from the show and his name was tarnished with scandal, something he may never completely recover from. Many were outraged and wondered why the 24-year-old would come out and tell such a damaging lie, but as we learn more and more about the accuser, things are beginning to make a little more sense. This morning the New York Post is shedding light on who Sheldon Stephans actually is and exposing his sketchy past.
For starters, he is an aspiring model, however there is no evidence of him ever working with any credible agency. He has also developed quite the rap sheet. According to the The Smoking Gun, his most serious offense is when he was arrested back in 2009 for allegedly robbing his former boss at knifepoint for a $250,000 gold necklace after being fired from an internship.
Criminal charges were initially filed against Stephens in a Pennsylvania court, where a judge ordered him held in lieu of $15,000 bail. The criminal complaint notes that a Beverly Hills Police Department detective told Pennsylvania investigators that he “would be filing charges in Beverly Hills for theft and other charges.”
Charges against Stephons were dropped two weeks later.
It was also revealed that the accuser’s mother is no stranger to crime herself as she was charged for allegedly stabbing her husband with scissors back in 2011.
We hope that Kevin Clash’s good name can be restored and that this trouble young man seeks professional help — or finds a jail cell to chill in.
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise