NEW YORK -- A man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having sex with him when he was a teenage boy has recanted his story.
In a surprising turnabout on Tuesday, the man described his sexual relationship with Clash as adult and consensual.
Clash responded with a statement of his own, saying he is "relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest."
The man, who has not identified himself, released his statement through the Harrisburg, Pa., law firm Andreozzi & Associates.
Sesame Workshop, which produces "Sesame Street," soon followed up by saying, "We are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode."
The episode began Monday morning, when Sesame Workshop startled the world by announcing that Clash had taken a leave of absence from "Sesame Street" in the wake of allegations that he had had a relationship with a 16-year-old.
Clash swiftly denied the charges of his accuser, who is now in his early 20s. Clash acknowledged that he is gay but said the relationship was between two consenting adults.
Neither Clash nor Sesame Workshop indicated when he might return to work on the show, on which he has performed as Elmo since 1984.