Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash’s accuser revealed to be struggling model with criminal record

By Daniel S Levine,

The identity of the man who nearly destroyed Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash’s career by accusing him of having a sexual relationship with him as a minor has been revealed. A report suggests that the man is a 24-year-old struggling model who has a criminal record.

Two sources close to the matter told The Smoking Gun that the man behind the accusation is Sheldon Stephens, who now lives in New York.

According to the site, in his Twitter bio, Stephens describes himself as an “Entrepreneur, Student, Model, Actor.” On Facebook, he writes, “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.” He has also used the name “Sheldon Xzavier.”

TSG also found that he has been arrested several times since 2009, according to court documents. In one incident, music manager Darian Pollard claimed that Stephens, who was interning with him at the time, had stolen a $250,000 “white gold necklace with diamonds” and a “white gold ring with diamond baguets” at knifepoint in Beverly Hills. Stephens left LA and was arrested at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania airport when he stepped off the flight. He was charged in Pennsylvania, but two weeks later, they were dismissed. TSG notes that there are no records of him being charged in Beverly Hills.

Stephens recanted his claims against Clash. He had told TMZ on Monday that Clash had sex with him when he was only 16 and Clash was 45.

Even though he recanted a day after TMZ’s report, the damage was done. Clash had to take a leave of absence from Sesame Street and was forced to announce that he is gay, a fact he said in a statement that he had hoped to keep private. He also admitted to having a relationship with the man, but said it only started after the man became an adult.

“He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship,” the statement from Stephens’ attorneys read. “He will have no further comment on the matter.”

Clash released his own statement that read, “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”



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