Providing the most conflicted happy ending since The Monster At The End Of This Book—where it’s revealed that the “monster” is only loveable, furry old Grover, and that you’ll spend your life plagued by such needless fears and ultimate disappointment—former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash won’t face three sexual abuse lawsuits that we’ve all nevertheless faced already. A federal judge has dismissed allegations that Clash lured three men into sexual relationships when they were only teenagers, saying the statute of limitations has run out on claims filed “more than six years after each plaintiff reasonably should have become aware of the defendant’s alleged violations” and more than three years after each turned 18, thus sweepin’ the molestation clouds away with the sunny day of a legal technicality.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys say they plan to appeal, arguing that the time limit should have begun once Clash’s accusers realized they’d been abused—a moment that, fortuitously for paperwork purposes, occurred near-simultaneously with that of Clash’s first accuser. In the meantime, Clash still faces an outstanding lawsuit from that man, Sheldon Stephens (who recanted and settled, then recanted that recantation), though Clash’s lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss, much as all the world did after first hearing that Elmo was involved in a sex scandal.
For now, Clash’s lawyer optimistically says this current victory should help put “these spurious claims behind him, so that Kevin can go about the business of reclaiming his personal life and his professional standing” from the miasma of sexual abuse allegations, for which, unfortunately, there is no statute of limitations. He also added that Clash “is looking forward to a time in the near future when he can tell his story free of innuendo and false claims.” And who doesn’t love story time?
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