Elmo actor faces abuse lawsuit - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Elmo actor faces abuse lawsuit

Posted: Updated:

By VERENA DOBNIK

NEW YORK (AP) -- A man who initially recanted sex abuse allegations against the former puppeteer of the "Sesame Street" character Elmo has sued him, alleging the entertainer lured him into drug-fueled sex when he was 16.

"I was taken advantage of by someone a lot older, and manipulated," Sheldon Stephens, who's now 24, told a Manhattan news conference on Tuesday.

He said he had met puppeteer Kevin Clash at a networking event for models and actors, and was later brought by limousine from his home in Pennsylvania to a New York apartment. There, Stephens said, Clash smoked crystal meth while giving the teenager another recreational drug.

In a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Pennsylvania, Stephens accused the 52-year-old Clash of sexual battery for childhood sexual abuse; travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct; and coercion and enticement to sexual activity. Stephens is asking for unspecified damages and coverage of his legal expenses.

Clash's attorney, Michael Berger, said in a statement Tuesday that his client denies any wrongdoing. He said Stephens already admitted he had had an adult consensual relationship with Clash.

Three other men also are suing Clash, alleging underage sex. Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" in November.

Stephens first made the allegations last year. His lawyer, Jeff Herman, said Stephens recanted over the possibility of a settlement, but none was ever reached. Herman said his client would not discuss details of any possible agreement.

Stephens said at the news conference that he was 22 when the relationship ended. He said he only took action after watching "Sesame Street" with his young nieces.

"When I started to realize my nieces were idolizing this character, it just disgusted me inside because I knew what had happened to me," Stephens said.

  • EntertainmentMore>>

  • Chris Brown pleads guilty to assault in Washington

    Chris Brown pleads guilty to assault in Washington

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:42:11 GMT
    Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in Washington, where he was accused of punching a man who tried to join a picture the singer was taking with two women outside a hotel.
    Chris Brown pleaded guilty on Tuesday to punching a man in the face outside a Washington hotel, an assault that occurred while the singer was on probation for attacking his then-girlfriend Rihanna.
  • Joan Rivers on life support

    Joan Rivers on life support

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:03:07 GMT

    Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

    Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

  • Justin Bieber charged with assault

    Justin Bieber charged with assault

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:04:55 GMT
    Troubled pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault after a collision between a minivan and an ATV led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario. Ontario Provincial Police say Tuesday that the incident happened Friday afternoon near Bieber's hometown of Stratford and that he was released on a promise to appear in court Sept. 29.
    Troubled pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault after a collision between a minivan and an ATV led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario. Ontario Provincial Police say Tuesday that the incident happened Friday afternoon near Bieber's hometown of Stratford and that he was released on a promise to appear in court Sept. 29.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices