|Okay, sure, it's gratuitous but admit it; you chuckled...|
I really couldn't care less that Kevin Clash, longtime puppet master of Sesame Street's Elmo, is an openly gay man. Good for him, more power to him, what he does with another consenting adult is his business and I'm happy for him. However...
Unless you live under a freakin' rock (or Fraggle Rock? Ugh, a Muppet pun!) then by now you've heard that a 23-year old man, one Sheldon Stephens, contacted the Sesame Street people to say that he and Clash had been carrying on an intimate relationship since he was 16. Clash was shelved & put on basically the equivalent of administrative leave while the lawyers got involved, I guess. Spin control was put into place, Clash denied any wrongdoing, and the guy who operates Big Bird had the limelight taken away that he'd been basking in since the Romney episode.
Sesame Workshop insisted the scandal surrounding Clash does not mean the end of Elmo. "Elmo is bigger than any one person," the company said.
Translation: that fuzzy red bastard is a cash cow gold mine and if need be we will disavow Clash, cut his ass loose, feed him to the wolves, and then get someone else to stick his hand up that puppet's ass and talk on helium to continue making money before said wolves finish dining on his entrails.
|Kevin Clash with his hand up a puppet's ass. Is your day job any better?|
Fast forward a couple weeks and now the young man who made the initial accusation has suddenly recanted. How convenient. What, did he suddenly just remember that he was over 18 when he started playing with Diddle Me Elmo? I call shenanigans & BS on this one.
Turns out Clash paid him off to recant. Reports are in that Clash paid his accuser the sum of $125,000 to recant his story, hush money to make this all go away. So, no one is really sure whether the recanting was true or not, or whether Clash was having relations with an underage kid for awhile...because the accused has been paid off to recant without any further ado. Hmmm.....Michael Jackson used to pay off accusers to make stories go away, too...but I digress. And one of the conditions of the payoff is interesting.
The settlement then provides the following:
"Stephens agrees that immediately upon execution of this Agreement, his counsel, Andreozzi & Associates, P.C., shall release the [following] statement ... 'He [Stephens] wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.'"
The settlement document goes on to say if Stephens is asked by anyone about his relationship with Clash, he must only repeat the statement [above] in the settlement that recants his story.
Translation: You'll get your money, and your lawyers issue a statement saying you recanted and if /when anyone asks you about it, your ass better stick to the story or else.
Sheldon Stephens is no angel. He's a wannabe model, actor, you name it, with a few miscellaneous arrests, including one accusation that he robbed a music manager in L.A. at knife point of a $250,000 “white gold necklace with diamonds” and a “white gold ring with diamond baguettes.” after being fired as the man's intern. He then boarded a plane for Harrisburg, PA, where he was arrested. Beverly Hills police contacted their counterparts in Pennsylvania, and two officers detained Stephens, who “was wearing the necklace and also the ring” as he exited the plane, reported an investigator, who added, “He made no attempt to hide either article.” and insisted they were gifts. Charges were later mysteriously dropped. Makes me wonder if Stephens made threats to take his former employer's dirty laundry public....
|All that money being made blackmailing people and you get really bad tattoos?|
The apple didn't fall far from the tree, either. His mother was charged last March with attempted murder after she allegedly repeatedly stabbed her husband with a pair of scissors. Free on bail, the elder Stephens, who is also facing a felony aggravated assault rap, is next due in court December 19.
So, we have a guy with a dodgy past who wants to live large & in charge and wants to run in powerful circles and makes a spurious accusation and then gets paid off. My guess is he just successfully blackmailed a guy he used to sleep with. And we have a guy who works in a kid-oriented industry, who keeps his sexuality quiet and private, who desperately wants to keep milking the cash cow that feeds him and was willing to pay to make it all go away. This about sums it all up.
Again, I don't care if Kevin Clash is gay. My only concern was that his affair with Sheldon Stephens started when the guy was an underage minor. That I cannot condone, especially not in someone who works around kids. I'd have the same misgivings if it was a straight puppeteer and an alleged underage girl. Or a female adult & an underage male. What consenting ADULTS do is between them and that's that, but I can't condone shagging minors. Sorry. Not gonna happen.
The truth is out there...we'll just never know it.
|Also gratuitous, and this image will be forever burned into your soul.|