Sheldon Stephens Is Man Who Claimed Underage Sexual Relationship With Elmo Puppeteer: Report

11/15/2012 01:50 pm ET

The man who first claimed he had a sexual relationship with the voice of Elmo and then recanted his story has reportedly been identified.

The Smoking Gun reports that Sheldon Stephens, a 24-year-old model and actor, is the man who tried to smear Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash.

The site learned of Stephens' identity and "confirmed his role in the Clash matter with two sources, a family member and a friend."

The Smoking Gun also reports that Stephens was arrested in 2009 for an alleged $250,000 jewelry robbery. The charges were eventually dropped.

After initially accusing Clash of carrying on a relationship with him when he was just 16, Stephens back tracked and recanted his claims through a statement released by his former lawyer on Tuesday to the New York Times.

The statement said that the previously alleged victim "wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with [Clash] was an adult consensual relationship.”

On Monday it was reported that Clash had taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street to fight the allegations.

Clash always maintained that his relationship with the man now identified as Stephens took place when the model/actor was 18.

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