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Elmo puppeteer allegedly paid accuser Sheldon Stephens


UPI News Service, 11/17/2012 

Kevin Clash paid Sheldon Stephens $125,000 before Stephens recanted a claim he had an underage sexual relationship with the voice of the Muppet Elmo, TMZ said.

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Sesame Workshop, which produces "Sesame Street," said Monday Stephens, 23, producers in June he had a sexual relationship with Clash, 53, that began when he was 16.

Clash acknowledged he had a sexual relationship with Stephens but said Stephens was an adult when it began. Stephens backtracked on his claim Tuesday, saying the relationship was adult and consensual.

A settlement was struck between the two parties hours before Stephens' recant, in which Clash agreed to pay him $125,000, a source, whose name was not reported, told TMZ.

Though Stephens signed the agreement, he still insists the relationship began when he was still a minor and was pressured into signing the paperwork, TMZ reported.

The source said Stephens was crying throughout the negotiations and insisted he didn't want to sign.


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