A man who accused Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash of having underage sex with him when he was a teenage boy has recanted his story.

In a rapid u-turn, the individual on Tuesday described his sexual relationship with Mr Clash as adult and consensual.

The 23-year-old, who has not identified himself, released a statement through the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, law firm Andreozzi & Associates.

Sesame Workshop, which produces the long-running US children’s show, soon followed up by saying: “We are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.”

Mr Clash responded with a statement of his own, saying he was “relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest.” He had no further comment.

Neither Mr Clash nor Sesame Workshop indicated when he might return to work on the show, on which he has performed as Elmo since 1984.

On Monday, Sesame Workshop said they were satisfied the accuser’s claim of under-age sex was “unsubstantiated”.

Sesame Street had given Mr Clash a leave of absence as he took action to protect his reputation.