Tattle: Fourth man accuses Kevin Clash of sexual abuse

Posted: December 11, 2012

THE MAN WHO once was Elmo is again seeing red.

A fourth man came forward Monday and sued Kevin Clash - the former Elmo puppeteer who resigned from "Sesame Street" last month after 27 years, amid sex-abuse allegations - claiming Clash befriended him in Miami years ago and promised to be a father figure before flying the then-teen to New York to have sex with him.

The three legal actions filed so far have been civil cases seeking financial compensation.

But the incident with the latest victim, referred to only as S.M., could involve criminal charges, because the suit claims Clash transported the teen across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

Attorney Jeff Herman said he encouraged his client to report the incident to authorities, but it's unclear if the now-33-year-old alleged victim has done so.

Clash resigned after a 24-year-old college student, Cecil Singleton, sued him for $5 million, saying the Muppeteer had sex with him when he was 15.

In the latest case, the plaintiff said Clash approached him on Miami Beach, complimented his appearance and struck up a friendship. Clash returned to New York, but stayed in touch with the teen, promising to be a dad to him. The youth, 16 or 17 at the time, had been molested by a teacher and was considering running away from home, according to the suit.

"These are all vulnerable boys. None of them had father figures in their lives, and they were looking for that father figure," said Herman, who represents three of the alleged victims.

The suit says Clash paid for a plane ticket from Florida to New York in 1996 and arranged for a limo to pick up the teen and bring him to his upscale apartment, where he gave him cash, "attention and affection" and ultimately engaged in numerous sexual acts.

Herman said he is poring over documents to see if the car service had been paid for by Clash's employers at Sesame Street.

Herman also said he's vetting the cases of other possible victims.

Jingle 'Belles'?

Tattle comic book/action/fantasy correspondent Jerome Maida reports the latest news about two possible all-female offshoots of "The Expendables."

Stay with him here, it gets a little confusing.

In early September, it was confirmed that there would be an all-female "Expendables" movie, which would bring a group of legendary action heroines together for one film: "ExpendaBelles."

Then came two controversial decisions:

1) The screenwriters for this high-adrenaline action flick would be Karen McCullah lutz and Kirsten Smith - best known for the ditzy comedy "Legally Blonde."

2) Gina Carano ("Haywire") and Katee Sackhoff were reportedly cast.

That two women with one major action film between them were chosen above those with thicker resumes caused many to worry that true action-movie legends like Linda Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver would get short shrift.

Then last month, "Expendables 3" was greenlit, with cries for a stronger female character to be added to the macho mix.

Now it appears producer Adi Shankar's "ExpendaBelles" film, the one with Carano and Sackhoff, will no longer go by that name (it's currently untitled) and will have little to do with the "Expendables" franchise except that it will have lots of women fighters.

But there will still be an "ExpendaBelles," to be written by lutz and Smith, and will also have women fighting - but be lighter and more tongue-in-cheek. This film has not been cast yet.

* Another thing the films have in common is that legendary martial artist/action star Cynthia Rothrock ("China O'Brien") is reportedly in the running to be in all three of them.

Rothrock stopped making films in 2004, but is mounting a comeback. In the past few months, she has started a Facebook fan page and seen another Facebook page launch under the guise of "EXPENDABLES 3 NEEDS Cynthia Rothrock!!!!"

She's also launched a clothing line at traditionZ.us and seen the unveiling of her own app, at manvsmobile.com.

"Rothrock is almost guaranteed to be cast in one of these projects," a Hollywood source told Maida. "There is too much buzz surrounding her right now, and she has too large and devoted a following for her not to be."

"There aren't too many genuine action-movie heroines out there," said another source, "and she can still bring it and would probably ask for a fraction of what, say, Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson would command. It's a no-brainer."

"I have no idea what the future holds," Rothrock said with a laugh. "But to do all three? I would if I could!"

TATTBITS

* French actor Gerard Depar-

dieu has set up legal residence in the small Belgian town of Nechin, lured by the food, the people, the lifestyle - and lower tax rates than back home.

French President Francois Hollande has infuriated many ultrarich French citizens by presenting a 2013 budget that would tax top earners at 75 percent over the first million euros of annual income - about $1.29 million. Belgium's top rate is 50 percent.

Nechin is less than a mile outside of France.

* Thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, employees at Random House are going to be able to upgrade their S&M toys this holiday season.

Every staffer will receive a $5,000 bonus, prorated for those who began work during the year. In a companywide letter, chief executive Markus Dohle noted the publisher's "unprecedented success" in 2012 thanks to EL James' erotic trilogy.

Random House has sold more than 35 million copies of the glorified porn for housewives.

Maybe instead of a business page, we should have a bondage page.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.


Email gensleh@phillynews.com.

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