NEW YORK - Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned from "Sesame Street" in the wake of an allegation that he had sex with an underage youth.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sesame Workshop said "the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us want," leading Clash to conclude "that he can no longer be effective in his job."

At the same time, a lawsuit was being filed in federal court in New York charging Clash with sexual abuse of a second youth. The lawsuit alleges that Cecil Singleton, then 15 and now an adult, was persuaded by Clash to meet for sexual encounters.

Clash, who had been on "Sesame Street" for 28 years, created the high-pitched voice and child-like persona for Elmo, a furry, red Muppet that became one of the most popular characters on the show.


'Idol' winner will perform at MOA

Black Friday at the Mall of America will include a big entertainment draw: Phillip Phillips, winner of Season 11's "American Idol" contest. Phillips will sing, sign autographs and mingle with fans starting at 1 p.m. at the mall's patio on the southwest corner of the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park.

The 21-year-old Georgia-bred singer/guitarist hit the ground running after his "Idol" victory this spring on the Fox Network, when his initial single "Home" marked the highest debut on Billboard's digital song chart with 278,000 downloads sold. He has since released his first album, "The World from the Side of the Moon."

A copy of Phillips' new release must be purchased in order to receive a wristband for the event. For details, visit


Bon Jovi will take the stage at Xcel

Fresh from last week's two-night stand by New Jersey's other famous rock band, Xcel Energy Center will welcome back Bon Jovi on April 7. Tickets are expected to go on sale Nov. 30 at prices yet to be announced. Other cities' seats range from $30 to $180. Fan-club pre-sale offers are already in motion at As was the case with Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band's stint at the X last week, Bon Jovi's tour itinerary includes open dates on either side of April 7 for Jon and the gang to add a second night. Additional shows have already been tacked on in Montreal and Toronto, part of their tour's kickoff spin through Canada in mid-February. The band's 2013 trek is cutely billed as the Because We Can Tour. Its latest album, "What About Now," is slated for release in the spring. By summer, the group will take over stadiums, including Soldier Field in Chicago on July 14.