The lovable, red, and furry little Elmo is being dragged through the mud yet again. Sheldon Stephens (pictured left) who accused the voice behind Elmo, Kevin Clash (pictured right) of sexual improprieties while he was as an underage youth, now stands by his original story and says that he was pressured to recant his original accusations and accept a settlement of $125,000, reports the NY Daily News.
While it has been established that Clash and Stephens did have a sexual relationship — which was confirmed by an e-mail trail — the issue is that Stephens initially claimed that he was only 16 years old when he and Clash engaged in sexual relations. Clash immediately rejected the claim, arguing that his accuser was of legal age and that the allegations against him are defamatory and false.
Shortly after the scandal hit the public, the now-23-year-old model, who originally stated that he and Clash had an ongoing 7-year relationship, entered in to an agreement with the 52-year-old Clash, who reportedly provided a sizeable cash settlement based on the following stipulation:
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 the young man is has returned to his original claim that he was in fact underage during their relationship and wants to refund the hefty settlement and clear his name.
In the meantime, Clash released a public statement with regards to his defense against Stephens, stressing that he he is tired of the brouhaha surrounding the sexual accusations against him and wants the entire matter “…put to rest.”