The Smoking Gun has tracked down the man who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of engaging in an underage sexual relationship–only to recant the allegation a day later. Turns out he’s a 24-year-old wannabe model/actor who was once arrested for robbing his employer of $250,000 in jewelry by knifepoint. Gee, when did Sesame Street get so seedy?
Get it? Sesame? Seedy. Anygay…
Sheldon Stephens has been around the block, to the rodeo, and back his fair share of times. Often modeling under the name “Sheldon Xzavier,” the 5’ 10” Harrisburg resident has met with little to no success as a professional pretty person but has earned quite a track record as a scumbag.*
Court records show that Stephens himself has been arrested several times since 2009. Last year, Stephens was busted for passing a bad check, though that charge was eventually dismissed after he settled the debt with a Harrisburg business. He was also collared last May for reckless driving, and subsequently pleaded guilty to a traffic offense.
The most serious criminal charges filed against Stephens came in September 2009, when he was arrested at the Harrisburg airport after stepping off a flight from L.A..
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.”
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.”
Stephens denied the jewelry was stolen but rather insisted they were “gifts.” No charges were subsequently filed against him and Pollard for his part – a self-described “very wealthy” man who has been held up “like five times” – can’t recall being robbed at knifepoint by Stephens or calling Beverly Hills cops.
Speaking with TSG, a friend of Stephens’ dismissed the Beverly Hills incident as a simple “misunderstanding,” comparing it to a “domestic dispute.” So it sounds like this Pollard fellow was one of “these high-powered men” that Sheldon attracts, as the friend claims, as was Kevin Clash. Because nothing says “power” like shoving your hand up a puppet on public broadcasting for 25 years.
Stephens may have “attracted” Clash when he worked retail in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, whilst living in Brooklyn. Having since moved back home with his mother* in Pennsylvania, perhaps Stephens saw all that glorious red fur and thought green. But whatever his reasons for lying about his relationship with Clash, there’s no excuse for potentially ruining a man’s career.
Between Elmo and Petraeus, what heroes do we have left?
*Sidebar: And it seems that felony runs in the family. Sheldon’s mother, Felicia Stephens, 48, was charged last March with attempted murder after she allegedly repeatedly stabbed her husband with a pair of scissors. She’s currently free on bail, but facing a felony aggravated assault rap, she’s due in court December 19. Following her arrest, Sheldon described his mother as “the nicest person in the world.”