Sesame Workshop says puppeteer Kevin Clash denies the charges, which were
first made in June by the alleged partner, who by then was 23.
In a statement issued Monday, Sesame Workshop said its investigation found
the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. But it said Clash
exercised "poor judgment" and was disciplined for violating company policy
regarding Internet usage. It offered no details.
Clash told TMZ, "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."
At his request, Clash has been granted a leave of absence in order to
"protect his reputation," Sesame Workshop says. No duration for the leave was
specified. Clash has voiced and animated Elmo since the 1980s and was the
subject of the 2011 documentary "Being Elmo."