Elmo puppeteer accuser recants accusations, says relationship was consensual

A 23-year-old man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexual abuse is now recanting, saying he was an adult at the time of their relationship.

The man, who is not identified, initially said he was 16 when the alleged abuse occurred.

"He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship," according to a statement from the law firm of{ } Andreozzi & Associates, which is representing the man, according to USA Today.

Clash has reportedly acknowledged to TMZ he had a relationship with the young man, but says it only took place after the accuser was an adult. He has taken a leave of absence from the show.

"I had a relationship with the accuser," Clash said in a statement he released. "It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was."