Just as we thought: Kevin Clash, the man behind the voice of Sesame Street’s iconic puppet Elmo, bought his accuser’s silence for $125K, TMZ reports. In addition to cutting a phat check, Clash and his attorneys demanded a retraction of public statements that his accuser Sheldon Stephens made about having underage sex with the puppeteer.
In a prelude to a lawsuit, Stephens claimed he had sexual relations with Clash, 52, when he was only 16.
Multiple sources tell TMZ that Clash and his attorneys met with Stephens and his legal team to hand over the check — and to hash out an agreement that included only one 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.’”
The settlement document goes on to say if Stephens is asked by anyone about his relationship with Clash, he must only repeat the statement [above] in the settlement that recants his story.
We’ve learned although Stephens signed the document, he continues to insist Clash had sex with him when he was a minor and was pressured into signing the settlement.
One source privy to the negotiations tells TMZ … Stephens was crying during final negotiations and repeatedly insisted he didn’t want to sign.