The man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of having a relationship with him when he was a minor only to recant the next day has been identified as a wannabe model-actor who, it turns out, has a rap sheet.
Per The Smoking Gun, 24-year-old Sheldon Stephens is the anonymous individual behind the ugly abuse smear lobbed against Clash on Monday before he pulled an about-face and said the two had an “adult consensual relationship.”
The website was able to identify him yesterday and confirm his role in the matter, it said, thanks to two sources: a family member and a friend.
So who is this guy?
Stephens lives in Harrisburg, Pa., and describes himself on his Twitter account as an “Entrepreneur, Student, Model, Actor.”
According to court records obtained by TSG, Stephens also has a criminal record, having been arrested numerous times since 2009, including once for passing a bad check and again for reckless driving.
The most serious charge came in September 2009 for allegedly robbing his former boss, Beverly Hills music manager Darian Pollard, of $250,000 worth of jewelry at knife point before taking a flight from L.A. to Pennsylvania.
While no knife was found in his luggage when police caught up with him, Stephens was taken into custody on two felony counts of receiving stolen property. The charges in Harrisburg, however, were subsequently dismissed two weeks later, and no charges were filed against him in Beverly Hills.
A friend of Stephens called the incident a simple “misunderstanding.” That friend also noted that Sheldon “attracts these high-powered men,” is a “God-fearing guy” and “not just a pretty boy.”
Stephens’ resume also describes him as being a Hollywood stylist, PR rep and intern for several entertainment and production agencies, among them Pollard’s firm, DP Music Management.
In the wake of his accuser recanting, Clash, who admits the two did have a relationship, released a statement saying he is “relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest.”
The puppetmaster will also be taking additional time off from Sesame Street so he can put the charges behind him, according to the New York Post, after taking an initial leave of absence to deal with the allegations. No word on whether he plans to file a defamation suit.
by Josh Grossberg