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Third accuser files lawsuit against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash

Posted by Kristi Palma  November 28, 2012 11:40 AM

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Miami lawyer Jeff Herman has announced that a third man has filed a lawsuit against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, accusing him of sexual assault.

Herman refers to the third accuser as John Doe and said he was 16 years old when Clash allegedly sexually assaulted him.

John Doe documented his experiences in an unpublished book he wrote in 2009. A chapter of that book, according to his lawyer, is called "Tickled My Heart" and John Doe called Clash "Mr. Tickler" in it.

Sheldon Stephens, now 23, was the original accuser earlier this month, claiming he had an inappropriate relationship with Clash when he was 16 and Clash was 45. He then recanted his story and said Clash paid him $125,000 to do so.

Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" last week after a second accuser, 24-year-old Cecil Singleton, came forward saying he had an underage sexual relationship with Clash when he was 15. Herman is also Singleton's lawyer.

Clash was the voice of Elmo for 28 years. His statement, upon resigning, was "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately."

Clash's lawyer, Michael Berger, said in a statement: "The cases and Mr. Clash’s reputation will be defended vigorously."

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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.
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