TODAY | November 14, 2012
>> clash has now been cleared of sexual misconduct allegations after his accuser admitted he was lying when he claimed the two had an affair while he was underage. nbc's mara schiavocampo is here with the very latest. mara , good morning.
>> reporter: good morning, willie. kevin clash isn't just the voice of elmo , he's described as the soul of " sesame street 's" most popular character. this week he took an indefinite leave of absence from the show to battle what he called false and defamatory allegations and now he's been vindicated. he's the man behind one of " sesame street 's" most cheerful characters. puppeteer kevin clash was anything but happy about allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor. monday " sesame street " released a statement saying they had been contacted in june by a then 23-year-old man who alleged that he had a relationship beginning when he was 16 years old with kevin clash . " sesame street " said they found no evidence to support the claims. clash , a 52-year-old divorced father who is now openly gay , said the relationship began after the man turned 18. tuesday that accuser recanted. in a statement attorneys for the man said his sexual relationship with mr. clash was an adult consensual relationship. legal analyst lisa bloom .
>> this allegation had all the ear marks of a false claim. the accuser did not go to the police. instead, he went to a civil attorney and raised a claim with " sesame street ," clash 's employer, which sounds like a ploy for money, without any substantiation.
>> do it again, here we go.
>> reporter: for clash , featured in the 2011 documentary "being elmo ," working on " sesame street " was a dream come true.
>> everybody is here, yay!
>> reporter: for more than 30 years clash has been more than elmo 's voice, giving the little red monster his personality, catapulting elmo past big bird as the most popular muppet.
>> elmo sure loves riding his tricycle.
>> reporter: can you do a scratch of the head.
>> reporter: he produces and directs for " sesame street " and has won 24 emmy awards for his work on the iconic children's show.
>> to have all of this come out, even though it's not reportedly true, you can't take it back so it's sad.
>> reporter: tuesday clash said he is relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. in "being elmo " he talked about facing adversity, words he'll almost be reflecting on.
>> there will always be some type of obstacle in the way. all of those things will go away if you really focus on what makes you happy.
>> reporter: in their investigation " sesame street " did say clash had violated the company's internet policy and was disciplined for that. no word on when he'll be back at work and reunited with elmo . willie.
>> as you say, that show would not be the same without him. thanks, mara .