The gay man who was wined and dined at age 18 by the then 48-year-old puppeteer Kevin Clash has been unmasked as a gay escort who made his living fleecing gullible entertainment industry down low gays. Sources identified Pennsylvania resident Sheldon Stephens, 23, as the man who attempted to cash in on a lawsuit that alleged he was only 16 when he met Clash, the voice of Sesame Street’s famed Elmo muppet.
Stephens, a sometime model with hazel eyes, describes himself on his Facebook page’s “About” page as “a rare breed. I’m very spontaneous and random… I’m determined and goal oriented. My destiny is laid on a solid gold brick pathway……. MY FUTURE IS BRIGHT and never will it dim.”
After communicating with lawyers for Sesame Street Workshop, the company that produces Sesame Street, Stephens hired the same law firm that represented one of Jerry Sandusky’s molestation victims.
But the case collapsed under the weight of Stephens’ lies, his past criminal history, and the lack of evidence. Stephens’ mother, Felicia Stephens, 48, was arrested last March and charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing her husband repeatedly with a pair of scissors, The Smoking Gun reports.
On Tuesday, Stephens recanted his accusations, saying he was a consenting adult (18) when he had sex with Clash, now 52. The recantation led to speculation that Stephens was paid handsomely for his silence.
According to sources, Stephens was arrested several times since 2009. The most serious charge was filed against Stephens in September 2009, when he was arrested at the Harrisburg airport after from LA.
According to a criminal complaint, music manager Darian Pollard contacted the Beverly Hills Police Department to report that Stephens–an intern that he had just fired–had robbed him at knifepoint of a $250,000 “white gold necklace with diamonds” and a “white gold ring with diamond baguets.”Stay tuned for Stephens’s book outing all the down low industry men he has slept with over the years. I bet they have all hired attorneys to pay this guy off.
Pollard, who heads DP Music Entertainment Group, told cops that Stephens had boarded a flight bound for Harrisburg. Beverly Hills police contacted their counterparts in Pennsylvania, and two officers detained Stephens, who “was wearing the necklace and also the ring” as he exited the plane, reported an investigator, who added, “He made no attempt to hide either article.”
Cops, who did not find a knife in Stephens’s luggage, arrested him on two felony receiving stolen property counts. Stephens, according to the complaint, denied that the jewelry was stolen. “He insists they were gifts,” a cop noted.
Criminal charges were initially filed against Stephens in a Pennsylvania court, where a judge ordered him held in lieu of $15,000 bail (his prison mug shots are here). The criminal complaint notes that a Beverly Hills Police Department detective told Pennsylvania investigators that he “would be filing charges in Beverly Hills for theft and other charges.”
However, a TSG search of L.A. county court records did not locate any evidence indicating that charges were subsequently filed against Stephens in Beverly Hills. The charges lodged against Stephens in Pennsylvania were dismissed two weeks after he was arrested at the Harrisburg International Airport.