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      Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigns from "Sesame Street" amid sex allegations

      Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash

      Sesame Workshop says Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street" in the wake of allegations that he had sex with an under-aged youth.

      Last week a man accused Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy, a charge Clash denied. A day later, the man recanted his charge. A lawsuit by a second accuser was filed Tuesday, according to attorney Cecil Singleton.

      Sesame Workshop called the controversy surrounding Clash's personal life "a distraction that none of us want" and led to his decision to leave the show.

      Clash created the voice and persona for Elmo, who has become one of "Sesame Street's" most popular characters.

      Sesame Workshop posted the following statement to its blog: "Sesame Workshop's mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, 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."