Kevin Clash, the voice of Sesame Street's Elmo, agreed to pay his accuser $125,000, under one condition - that Sheldon Stephens retract the allegation that he was underage.
Stephens alleged he was only 16 when Clash began an affair with him. Clash admits an affair, but insists it started when Stephens, now 23, was an adult.
Stephens recanted his allegation days later, but only after a secret settlement was struck between the two parties. Under the terms of the settlement:
- Clash agreed to pay Stephens $125,000.
- He releases a statement saying he [Stephens] wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.
- If Stephens is asked by anyone about his relationship with Clash, he must only repeat the statement in the settlement that recants his story.
Although Sheldon Stephens signed the document, he insists Clash, now 52, had sex with him when he was a minor and was pressured into signing the settlement.
According to TMZ, Stephens was crying during the final negotiations with Clash's lawyer and repeatedly insisted he didn't want to sign; he did, however.
It's unclear who leaked these details to the celebrity gossip site, but it makes you wonder.