NEW YORK - The man who accused Kevin Clash, the voice and puppeteer of the "Sesame Street" character Elmo, of an underage sexual relationship has recanted that claim, his lawyer said Tuesday. The reversal came a day after the claim was first published by the gossip website TMZ.

Clash has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Workshop, the organization that produces "Sesame Street," to challenge the allegations.

A law firm that said it represented the accuser said in a statement that "he wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship." The statement added, "He will have no further comment on the matter."

The accuser's identity has not been disclosed.

Clash said through a spokeswoman: "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest."

The episode led to Clash coming out as a gay man, something he had not previously said in public.

"I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter," he said.


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Newly single Selena Gomez is getting on with her life after splitting with superstar Justin Bieber, her boyfriend of nearly two years -- and she seems to be doing just fine, thank you very much. She received the Woman of the Year award Monday from Glamour magazine, and those in attendance told Us Weekly she looked "radiant and very happy." "I am so honored to be in a room full of women that I can only aspire to be as good as they are one day," she said of her fellow attendees, among whom were Chelsea Clinton, Chelsea Handler, Lena Dunham, gymnast Gabby Douglas and screen legend Lauren Hutton.

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