NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The puppeteer who performs the character of Elmo is on leave from New York's "Sesame Street" after a young man alleged they began a relationship when he was 16.
Kevin Clash, 53, has lent his voice to the furry red monster Elmo on the pre-school program for more than 20 years. He also voiced the character of Baby Sinclair on Jim Henson's prehistoric puppet show "Dinosaurs."
Sesame Workshop said Monday a 23-year-old man contacted the show's producers in June and alleged he had a relationship beginning when he was 16 with Clash, who has denied he did anything improper.
"We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action," Sesame Workshop said in a statement.
"We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated," the statement said. "Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage and he was disciplined. Kevin insists that the allegation of underage conduct is false and defamatory and he is taking actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so.
"Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of 'Sesame Street' to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years."
Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber win big at EMAs in Frankfurt
FRANKFURT, Germany, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. country singer Taylor Swift and Canadian pop star Justin Bieber each won three MTV European Music Awards in Frankfurt, Germany.
Swift won the awards for Best Female Act, Best Live Act and Best Look Sunday night, and Bieber, who did not attend the ceremony, was named Best Male Act and Pop Act and winner of the World Stage Award.
The British-Irish pop group One Direction won the awards for Best New Act and the Biggest Fans.
Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen took home the Best Song prize for "Call Me Maybe" and South Korean singer Psy earned the Best Video statuette for "Gangnam Style."
America's Alicia Keys accepted the Global Icon award on behalf of late singer Whitney Houston, who accidentally drowned in a hotel bathtub last February after using drugs.
Supermodel Heidi Klum served as host of the MTV EMAs show.
Lohan takes paternity test on TV show
STAMFORD, Conn., Nov. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. tabloid fixture Michael Lohan has taken a paternity test to determine if Ashley Horn is his daughter, producers of TV's "Trisha Goddard" said Monday.
Kristi Horn has long named Lohan as the biological father of her 17-year-old daughter Ashley.
Lohan, a "Celebrity Rehab" veteran, will find out the results of the paternity test and meet Ashley for the first time on Thursday's edition of "Trisha Goddard."
He was married to Dina Lohan from 1985 to 2007. They have four children, including troubled actress Lindsay and aspiring model Ali.
"Maury Povich helps get to the truth when he sits down with Michael for a one-on-one interview," a news release said. "The big question -- why agree to the paternity test now? Before Michael meets Ashley for the first time, Trisha asks if DNA results reveal she is his daughter what will change?"
"A lot. A lot changes," Lohan said in the pre-taped interview. "I have a relationship with her, if she wants to and I believe we want to."
"I don't want to be a part of what they've called the Lohan train wreck," Ashley said before learning the results of the test.
Michael and Lindsay Lohan have been in the news in recent years for family disputes, substance abuse and brushes with the law.
New Broadway musical to feature Diane Warren's songs
NEW YORK, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Broadway producer Dede Harris says she has optioned Diane Warren's song catalog and intends to use her songs in a stage musical.
The creative team and a timeline for the project will be announced at a later date, Harris said in a news release.
Warren has written hit songs for Elton John, Beyonce, Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion Aerosmith, Ricky Martin, Faith Hill, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood Britney Spears, Jennifer Hudson and LeAnn Rimes and many others.
Among her songs are "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," "If I Could Turn Back Time," "How Do I Live," "Unbreak My Heart," "Because You Loved Me" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now."
Dede Harris Productions recently produced "One Man, Two Guvnors," "Clybourne Park" and "War Horse."
"It's a thrill and an honor be able to present Diane Warren's brilliant body of work on Broadway. Her songs are a pinnacle of popular culture and will bring fresh energy and excitement to the Great White Way," Harris said in a statement.
"I greatly admire the incredible shows and performers that have come from Broadway," Warren said. "It has always been a thrill for me to write for musical artists who began their careers on the New York stage and I'm so happy that my songs will be part of a new musical."
Celebrity Families of 2014 [PHOTOS]