A disturbing scandal that dreadfully linked Elmo with underage sex, which was later exposed to be false, has resulted in the peril of the man behind Sesame Street’s favorite red Muppet.
Kevin Clash helped mold Elmo into the ageless character that we loved as children and still cherish as adults. Since 1984, Clash has worked at Sesame Street, becoming an Emmy-award-winning performer and breaking barriers as an African American puppeteer.
However, his revered career came crashing down when an aspiring male model by the name of Sheldon Stevens claimed that Clash, who is 52 years old, sexually abused him when he was 16 years old. Stevens, who is now 24 years old, later recanted, admitting that he and the puppeteer had “an adult consensual relationship” in a statement released on Tuesday by his former legal representatives.
Although the alarming news was proven to be false, people will still remember the negative scenario that put both Clash’s personal life and sexuality at the forefront of his career.
Here’s the rundown on the man that took down Elmo!
Behind his stunning good looks and flawless physique lies the face of a criminal who’s no stranger to deception. Stevens, who sometimes goes by the name “Sheldon Xzavier,” is an amateur model from Philadelphia who’s worked in hospitality and retail and has lived in Brooklyn.
In 2009, he was arrested for stealing $250,000 worth of jewelry from his former employee while he was at an airport in Harrisburg, PA. He was spotted wearing a white gold necklace and a ring that a music manager from L.A. claimed he stole from him at knife point. Stevens told law enforcement officials that it was a “gift” and the case was eventually dismissed.
Last year, the sly pretty boy got caught passing a bad check. The charge was dropped after he settled the matter with a business in Harrisburg. And in May, he pleaded guilty to a traffic offense after he was busted for reckless driving.
Ironically, despite his criminal history, Stevens’ friends say he is a “God-fearing man” that happens to attract men in power.
On his Twitter page, Stevens describes himself as an “Entrepreneur, Student, Model, Actor,” according to The Smoking Gun. And on Facebook account, he said:
“I like to consider myself a rare breed. I’m very spontaneous and random … I’m determined and goal oriented. My destiny is laid on a solid gold brick pathway……. MY FUTURE IS BRIGHT and never will it dim.”
In reality, he’s also a student at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and is expected to graduate with a BA next May.
His family has also been in some drama of their own. His mom was reportedly arrested and charged with an attempted murder after stabbing her boyfriend with a pair of scissors. She is scheduled to appear in court on December 19.
This troubled man looking for fame and attention has already developed a reputation that will always be tarnished and haunting. Where will he go from here?