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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.

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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Copyright 2012 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any repr

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