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UPDATE: 11-13-12

The man who accused Kevin Clash, 52, of engaging in a sexual relationship with him, beginning when he was just 16-years-old, has recanted his story.

His attorney released the following statement:

“[The accuser] wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship. [The accuser] will have no further comment.”

Clash, who always vehemently denied the allegations, also issued a statement:

“I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”

Read the original report below.

“Sesame Street” veteran Kevin Clash (pictured), 52, who has been the voice of the beloved “Elmo” since the mid-eighties is now being accused of sexual relations with a then-16-year-old boy, reports TMZ.

SEE ALSO: Posters In Sweden Feature Rihanna’s Battered Face To Protest Chris Brown Concert [PHOTO]

The alleged victim, who is now 23-years-old, contacted the show’s lawyers and informed them about his accusations earlier this year.  The Sesame Street Workshop powers-that-be told TMZ, “In June of this year, Sesame Workshop received a communication from a young man who alleged that he had a relationship with Kevin Clash beginning when he was 16 years old.  This was a personal relationship, unrelated to the workplace. We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action.”

Sesame Street Workshop executives also admitted to having met with Clash’s accuser on two occasions, exchanging communications with regards to the case.

Sources revealed to TMZ that upon meeting with the show’s attorney’s, the accuser felt intimidated by the tactics that were allegedly being used by the legal team to keep him quiet, so he hired a law firm that represented one of Jerry Sandusky’s child rape case victims.

According to TMZ, Clash did admit to having had sexual relations with his male accuser but only after he was of legal age.  The popular puppeteer says his accuser is making statements about him that are not only false but defamatory.  “I had a relationship with [the accuser].  It was between two consenting adults, and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not,” Clash laments.

The lawyers for Sesame Street Workshop also conducted an investigation and concluded that the underage sex charge could not be substantiated by the alleged victim.

Investigators did find an e-mail trail between Clash and his accuser, but this piece of evidence also did not back up the charge of underage sex, which allegedly took place seven years ago. Clash was however disciplined for using the company’s e-mail system for his own personal use.

The Sesame Street Workshop top brass informed TMZ that “Kevin insists that these allegations are false and defamatory and he has taken actions to protect his reputation.  We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.”

As to why Clash has chosen to take a leave from his position as a puppeteer, no reason has been given thus far but the company heads do state that Elmo will continue to be an integral part of the 43-year-long children’s show.

SEE ALSO: Posters In Sweden Feature Rihanna’s Battered Face To Protest Chris Brown Concert [PHOTO]

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