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Kevin Clash is facing some sordid accusations from three different men, but he is not without his supporters. Jason Murray is speaking out today in his ex’s defense.

A former boyfriend of the puppeteer who voiced Elmo for nearly 30 years before resigning from Sesame Street last week, says he’s been portrayed unfairly.

“Kevin is not a villain,” Murray, a 29-year-old teacher who dated Clash in 2004, tells E!

“Yes, he had an affinity for younger men, but what successful [straight] man doesn’t have an affinity for younger women? It’s the same thing, gay or not.”


Clash, 52, acknowledged that he is gay after 24-year-old Sheldon Stephens came forward to claim that he was 16 when he had a sexual relationship with Clash.

Via his attorney, Stephens recanted his claims the following day, saying they had “an adult consensual relationship,” only to apparently wish he hadn’t recanted.

Two other men, Cecil Singleton and one going by John Doe, then sued Clash for damages, claiming in separate lawsuits that they engaged in sexual activity.

The two lawsuits each allege that he engaged in sexual activity with minors; Clash has denied any illegal activity and his attorney says the claims are without merit.

Elmo will continue to appear on Sesame Street sans Clash.