The man who tickled Elmo “Kevin Clash” has had a troubled past.

Aspiring model Sheldon Stephens was identified by The Smoking Gun as the person who nearly destroyed “Sesame Street” muppeteer Kevin Clash’s career by claiming he had a relationship with the 52-year-old when he was just 16. Clash said they were consenting adults.

Sheldon Stephens was once arrested for stealing a $250,000 necklace at knife-point from a former boss after being fired from an internship at a record label. After being spotted wearing the necklace in the airport Sheldon insisted it was a gift.

The case was eventually dismissed.

Clash exchanged messages with his accuser in 2010 in which he apologized for constantly talking about sex and promised to make all of his ‘dreams come true.’

The puppeteer, who has left the show in the wake of the accusations, told the man almost 30 years his junior that he loved him and offered to buy him a ticket to visit him in New York, it has emerged.

The Sesame Street stalwart, who has worked on the show since the mid-80s, admits to having a sexual relationship with the accuser but insists it only took place after the younger man was an adult.

Clash, 52, took a leave of absence from the children’s show after the 23-year-old contacted the program’s lawyers and told them he had a sexual relationship with the puppeteer seven years ago.

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