Months after he settled two previous lawsuits brought on by men who accused the Elmo puppeteer of engaging in sexual acts with minors, the first man to come forward against Clash, Sheldon Stephens, has filed his own suit.
Stephens first came forward against Clash last November, alleging that the Sesame Street voice actor had sex with him when he was just 16 (Stephens is now 24). Clash denied the allegations, maintaining that he did have a relationship with Stephens but it was adult and consensual. Still, Clash settled the claim with Stephens and two other accusers for six figures. One week later, Stephens decided he wanted to undo the settlement, saying he regretted not pursuing the matter in court.
Now, the former model is seeking his day in court. Stephens filed a lawsuit against Clash on Monday evening, alleging that Clash used crystal meth and "poppers" before engaging in sexual acts with Stephens when he was 16 years old.
"I was taken advantage of by someone a lot older, and manipulated," Stephens, who's now 24, told a Manhattan news conference on Tuesday. Clash is currently 52 years old. The complaint also alleges that on one occasion, a chauffeur drove Clash and Stephens to the chauffeur's apartment where they had a crystal-meth "sex party," and that Clash smoked meth while engaging in sexual activity with Stephens.
Stephens claims that watching Sesame Street with his young nieces urged him to take action. "When I started to realize my nieces were idolizing this character, it just disgusted me inside because I knew what had happened to me."
An attorney for Clash calls the suit "meritless" and says it exceeds the state's statute of limitations. "The plaintiff has already admitted in writing that he had 'an adult consensual relationship' with Mr. Clash," said the statement. "Mr. Clash continues to deny any wrongdoing, and we intend to defend this case forcefully."