Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Accused of Sex with 16-Year-Old Boy

The man whose hand makes Elmo dance is on leave from Sesame Street over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy.

Kevin Clash, subject of the acclaimed 2011 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, has been accused by a now-23-year-old who contacted Sesame Street and said the affair happened seven years ago when he was 16 and Clash was 45.

Clash, now 52, admits a relationship but denies it took place when the accuser was underage. He tells 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.

Sesame Street sources say they found no evidence the claim was true. And the most damning piece of “evidence” — an alleged email in which Clash acknowledges the affair took place when the accuser was underage — has only surfaced well after the initial allegations.

The accuser is represented by Andreozzi and Associates, which also represented a victim of Jerry Sandusky.