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According to NBC’s Today Show, Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind “Sesame Street’s” Elmo since 1985, has taken a leave of absence from the show following allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old, according to a statement from Sesame Workshop.

Read:Quick Guide To Keeping Your Teens From “Bad Kids”

Workshop representatives said that in June a 23-year-old man reached out to Sesame Workshop alleging that he had a relationship with Clash beginning seven years earlier.  “We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action,” said the reps in the statement. “We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage and he was disciplined.” Clash is then said to have been granted leave from the show so he can take action “to protect his reputation.”

He told TMZ, “I had a relationship with (the accuser). It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not.”

Wow pretty sad. This week the BBC went through it’s own scandal.

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Take a look at the guest stars through the years on the show.

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