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Quick Takes: Elmo accuser recants

November 14, 2012

The unnamed man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of pursuing an underage sexual relationship with him when he was just 16 has recanted his story.

The law firm representing the 23-year-old accuser released a statement Tuesday denying the charges. "He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship."

"I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further," Clash, who has been the voice of Elmo since 1985, said through a representative.

On Monday, Sesame Workshop, the company that produces "Sesame Street," announced that Clash would be taking a leave of absence from the show in order to "[take] actions to protect his reputation." After conducting their own investigation, including two meetings with the accuser, Sesame Workshop concluded that his charges were "unsubstantiated."

The company also released a brief follow-up statement. "We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode," it read.

—Meredith Blake

'Sgt. Pepper's' piece is sold off

Sotheby's says an original piece of artwork from the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album has fetched 55,250 pounds ($87,720) at an auction. The auction house said the original 1967 collage for the insert to the album sold to a bidder in London on Tuesday.

The sale marked the first time the collage by Sir Peter Blake was on the market. The auction house said Blake was introduced to the Beatles by his dealer, and that he and his wife worked closely with Paul McCartney and John Lennon to create the imagery of the "Sgt. Pepper." The auction house had estimated that the piece would sell for between 50,000 and 80,000 pounds.

—Associated Press

Zeppelin joins 'Revolution'

NBC's futuristic sci-fi series "Revolution" is turning to classic rock heroes Led Zeppelin to score its Thanksgiving-week episode. Two of the band's songs, "Kashmir" and "Since I've Been Loving You," are set to be heard Monday on the J.J. Abrams-produced series about an electricity-starved world.

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are using the show to help promote their live album/home video collection "Celebration Day," to be released also on Monday.

NBC began promoting the pairing of Led Zeppelin and "Revolution" after the conclusion of Monday night's episode, and the Associated Press reported that the deal was facilitated by a little corporate cooperation. "Revolution" is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Led Zeppelin has a deal with Warner Music Group's publishing division.

Led Zeppelin isn't known for regularly licensing its music, but the band isn't entirely averse to it, either. Most notably, the band let Cadillac use "Rock and Roll" in a commercial and its music has popped up in the films of Cameron Crowe and a few others. "Celebration Day" captures the band's 2007 reunion concert at London's O2 Arena.

—Todd Martens

Bourdain blasts Travel Channel

As Anthony Bourdain brings down the curtain on the eighth and final season of "No Reservations," he ripped the Travel Channel's executives on his personal Tumblr page.

The source of his anger is a decision to insert post-production product placement of a Cadillac into one of the final episodes of "No Reservations" without consulting the writer and chef first, making it appear that Bourdain was endorsing the car. "After the first airing of the commercial, I let the network know of my extreme displeasure," Bourdain wrote. "Fair warning one would think. They ran it again anyway."

Though Bourdain admitted that he's not been above this sort of thing in the past, he's angry about a perceived lack of respect the new management at Travel Channel has shown him.

In a statement, Travel Channel responded, "We've enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Tony and his production team, but his decision to make further remarks on this matter in the public domain is unfortunate."

Bourdain's new show on CNN is scheduled to begin in the spring.

—Patrick Kevin Day

Chaplin props to be auctioned

On the heels of Judy Garland's dress from "The Wizard of Oz" being sold at auction for $480,000, Charlie Chaplin's icon bowler hat and cane are going on the auction block. Bonhams in Los Angeles is offering the trademark items from the comedy legend at its entertainment and rock 'n' roll auction on Sunday. The estimate for the Chaplin props is $40,000 to $60,000.

Other items featured in the auction include John Lennon's handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko Ono, and an archive of Marilyn Monroe photographs. More information is available at

—Susan King

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