PR POWER LIST
Celebs don’t call 911 in an emergency; they ring their PR people. In the old days, a well-placed item could defuse a crisis. But in a universe of voracious gossip blogs, omnipresent iPhones and truthiness, managing mishaps is much messier. How did PR pros handle the year’s most high-profile gaffes? Read More
Big Apple Idolatry
Update: 12/11/12 4:47 p.m. So Kevin Clash has not only lost his job at Sesame Street, facing four underage sexual molestation charges, but now on top of that is being accused of having a limp dick by the latest alleged victim.
The accuser, now a 33-year-old man, ran away from his family in Miami when he was 16 to live with Clash. He revealed in his lawsuit (obtained in part by The New York Post), that “Kevin Clash told [his accuser] he had difficulty…due to a medical condition.” It’s like this Clash’s life cannot get any worse at this point. Except:
– Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has resigned from his role on Sesame Street after a second young man stepped forward to accuse the Academy Award-nominated documentary subject of being a sexual predator. 24-year-old Cecil Singleton is asking for $5 million from Mr. Clash, after claiming he met the voice actor on a phone sex line when he was 15. Then he made a pretty large leap in logic, claiming that Clash spent his days at Sesame “preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests.”
– So in addition to bringing new chapters of Trapped in the Closet to IFC, R. Kelly is now bringing his hip-hopera to the Great White Way. Hey, it can’t be any worse than Ghost: The Musical.
Sesame Street Sex Scandal
Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who has long played childlike red monster Elmo on the kids’ show Sesame Street, has decided to leave the program after having been seemingly exonerated on claims of sex with a minor.
It was only last Monday (though it feels like forever ago) that 23-year-old Sheldon Stephens accused the voice of Elmo, Kevin Clash, of starting an inappropriate relationship with Mr. Stephens when he was 16-year-old. And while we thought all that ugliness was behind us after Stephens retracted his allegations and took a $125,000 out-of-court settlement, he is now rescinding his recant, claiming that he was “pressured” to drop the case.
After yesterday’s news that Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street for the last 28 years, had officially taken a “leave of absence” at the PBS show after a man came forward and accused Mr. Clash of innapropriate relations when he was 16-years-old, it was only a matter of time before the evidence started piling up. Though Mr. Clash claimed that the relationship between himself and the now-23-year-old young man began only after the boy turned 18, a letter that TMZ was given by the accuser showed genuine remorse on Mr. Clash’s part.
The world awakened Monday to the deeply depressing news that Kevin Clash, the voice and hands behind Sesame Street‘s beloved red mascot Elmo, was leaving the show for a while after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Mr. Clash has insisted that the relationship occurred after his accuser was an adult, but the now 23-year-old man making the allegations is being represented by the same law firm that represented a victim of convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, which can’t be good news for anyone.
We still don’t know just how deep inside the fuzzy red muppet this story goes. We do know that this is certainly not the first whiff of scandal in children’s entertainment.
Here’s a handful of other scandals that range from darkly funny to frankly terrifying.