Sheldon Stephens, the young man who initially accused Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash of having a sexual relationship with him when he was only 16 years old, only to later recant the claims, has changed his story yet again.
According to TMZ, Stephens now says he was paid $125,000 to take back his story in a settlement agreement with Clash.
“We’ve learned Stephens has met with lawyers in Los Angeles and told them he was pressured into recanting his allegation and insists he’s telling the truth when he says he had sex with Clash when he was 16,” reports TMZ.
Clash has never denied that a sexual relationship with Stephens took place, but he has always maintained that it was consensual and took place when Stephens was at the legal age of consent.
The performer is most famous for his work as Elmo, the beloved and popular children’s character.
Clash is currently on a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of this scandal.
Stephens is a 24-year-old aspiring model who has had his fair share of run-ins with the law.
In 2009 he was accused of stealing $250,000 worth of jewelry from his former boss at knife point after he had been fired from an internship.
Music manager Darian Pollard reported to the Beverly Hills Police Department that his former intern had stolen a “white gold necklace with diamonds” and a “white gold ring with diamond baguettes” before hopping on a flight from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania.
Stephens was arrested at the airport in Pennsylvania, wearing the jewelry; however, charges against him were dropped two weeks later.
Currently Stephens reportedly lives with his 48-year-old mother, Felecia Stephens, in her Harrisburg, Pennsylvania apartment.
TheGrio attempted to reach attorneys for Clash and Stephens but they did not return our calls.