Just a few days after news broke that the puppeteer behind Elmo, Kevin Clash, had to take a leave of absence from Sesame Street because of accusations that he had sex with an underage boy, The New York Times is now reporting that the accuser has recanted his claim, according to a statement from his lawyers.

Andreozzi & Associates, the law firm working for the accuser, said in a statement that the man “wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.”

In another statement, via a spokeswoman, Clash said “I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further.”

No matter how many times the accuser denies this story, it will likely haunt Clash for the foreseeable future, unfortunately. We’re not sure when he’ll be back on Sesame Street, but now that he’s been cleared of all wrongdoing, we would expect him to return sooner rather than later. We’re just happy that we no longer have to mention “Elmo” and “sex crimes” in the same sentence ever again.

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[via The New York Times]