I’m about to make a YouTube video of myself crying and sobbing, “Leave Elmo alone!!!” Unfortunately, there’s a new twist to the Kevin Clash underage sex scandal that we all thought was put to bed last week. To recap: a 23 year old man accused the Elmo puppeteer of having sex with him when the accuser was 16 years old. Clash denied it, the accuser recanted his tale, 15 minutes of fame over, the end.
The young man, whose name is Sheldon Stephens, now claims he was paid $125,000 to recant his story and wants to undo the settlement he made with Clash. Stephens, an aspiring model who also goes by Sheldon Xzavier, says he was pressured into signing an agreement that required him to publicly state that the relationship with his former lover was an “adult consensual relationship.” But it’s a lie, says Stephens, asserting that he really was just 16 when he and Clash dated, an he’ll gladly give back the money to prove it.
Should we believe him THIS time? Stephens’ past surely doesn’t establish him as the most trustworthy of men. He’s been arrested three times in the last three years – once for a bad check, once for reckless driving, and once for allegedly stealing diamond jewelry worth over $250,000 from a former employer. Here’s his mugshot from that arrest:
His family history doesn’t offer much reassurance either. Stephens’ mother, Felicia Stephens, was charged with felony aggravated assault and attempted murder in March 2011 for repeatedly stabbing her husband with a pair of scissors. She’s out on bail and awaits a court hearing next month. I’m not saying this makes her son a bad person, but it certainly doesn’t paint a picture of stability.
And speaking of stability, or lack thereof, you’ve got to wonder what makes a person behave like this. If it was for the money, then by all means, take the money and zip it. If it was for the publicity and recognition, well, he’s got it now. If it was for spite, mission accomplished. And if his story is true, and Clash did knowingly have a sexual relationship with him when he was underage (which would be horrible), then why recant the story in the first place? (But then why can’t Stephens produce evidence?)
Anyway, enough about my speculation. What do you think? Sound off in the comments, and peep more photos of Sheldon Stephens after the jump.
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