Tattle: Kevin Clash, voice of Elmo, quits 'Sesame Street'

Posted: November 21, 2012

KEVIN CLASH, the man behind Elmo, is resigning from "Sesame Street" after a second man alleged that the puppeteer began an inappropriate relationship with him when he was underage.

Cecil Singleton, 24, claimed that he was 15 when their relationship started. He says he and Clash did not have sex back then but engaged in some, well, let's call it heavy petting. He said that he and Clash did not engage in the Clintonian definition of sexual intercourse until Singleton reached 18. Singleton is seeking $5 million in damages from Clash.

Singleton, who has been a little too ready for our tastes to talk with TMZ about his alleged traumatic plight, said that Clash trolled gay-sex phone lines looking for sex with underage boys.

Last week, news surfaced that Clash had been accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with Sheldon Stephens, who claimed their relationship began when he was 16. Stephens, who also is 24 now and who calls Harrisburg home, recently recanted his accusation after receiving a $125,000 settlement from Clash. We reported Tuesday that Stephens wanted to recant his recantation and was looking for new attorneys to undo the settlement.

Sesame Workshops, the production company behind "Sesame Street," vows that the Elmo character will live on. The fuzzy little red guy better. The New York Times reported that Elmo-related toys account for up to 75 percent of the approximately $75 million made off of "Sesame Street"-branded toys annually. Individual performers are not often publicly associated with their characters (unless their last name is, say, Henson), but Clash's celebrity has been rising since the release of the 2011 documentary "Being Elmo" took a reverent look at the seemingly likable Clash.

'Closet' to Broadway

R. Kelly's epic "hip hopera," "Trapped in the Closet," might be heading to Broadway, according the R&B superstar.

On Monday, while premiering the third segment of "Trapped in the Closet," set to air on Friday at 9 p.m. on IFC, Kelly said that he had been offered a deal to take the series to Broadway. A rep for Kelly added that a theatrical version was a real possibility.

For those not familiar, "Trapped in the Closet" is an epic masterwork introduced to the public in 2005. So far it contains 23 chapters, each with its own accompanying music video. The story begins with a man named Sylvester (one of many parts played by Kelly) who wakes up one day in the bed of woman who is not his wife. From there, the plot goes totally bonkers, and includes a pimp, gay infidelities and a rather violent midget.

" 'Trapped in the Closet' is an alien," Kelly told the crowd at the preview of the series. "I'm glad to be one of the astronauts to take this trip to a place unknown."

He added that he had 85 more chapters waiting to be heard.


* Call Fiona Apple what you will

- a genius, a flake, a little bit

crazy, a lot bit crazy - but never say she's disloyal. The singer was set to start a new leg of her tour in Brazil on Nov. 27, but took to her Facebook page to alert fans that she would not be heading south because her dog, Janet, is sick with Addison's disease.

"If I go away again, I'm afraid she'll die and I won't have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out," Apple wrote in a four-page handwritten letter. "Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed. But this decision is instant. These are the choices we make, which define us."

* Actor Djimon Hounsou and

former model/current mogul  

Kimora Lee Simmons are on the verge of a split, but there's a catch: The divorcing duo might not actually be married. Hounsou and Simmons were married in West Africa in 2008, but her divorce from Russell Simmons hadn't been finalized yet. Reportedly, a U.S. marriage license was never issued for Hounsou and Kimora Lee, so Hounsou is legally free to give us a call whenever

he wants.

* Queens, N.Y.-bred Nicki Minaj returned to her alma mater, P.S. 45, with radio station Hot 97 to give students free turkeys for Thanksgiving. This is a change of heart for Minaj, who feuded with the station after one of their DJs called Minaj's song "Starships" "b-------" and not real hip-hop.

" @mollyeichel

Howard Gensler is on vacation.

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