Kevin Clash, ex-Elmo puppeteer, faces third sex abuse claim

Kevin Clash, the longtime Elmo puppeteer, resigned from "Sesame Street" on Nov. 20, 2012, amid allegations that he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy. Clash denied the allegations, which were first made in June 2012 by the accuser, who is now 23 years old. Sesame Workshop called the controversy surrounding Clash's personal life "a distraction that none of us want," which led to his decision to leave the show. AbovePuppeteer Kevin Clash speaks during the 'Independent Lens - Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey' panel during the PBS portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

A Florida man has sued Kevin Clash, the former Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid a sex scandal, claiming the voice actor met him in New York after trolling gay telephone chat lines seeking underage boys for sex.

The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed in Manhattan federal court Tuesday by a man who remains anonymous.

The man says he met Kevin Clash on a chat line in 2000, when he was 16 years old and exploring modeling opportunities in New York.

The lawsuit says Clash had numerous Elmo dolls in his apartment when he met the teen for sex. The man, now 29, is the third to make claims against Clash, who resigned from "Sesame Street" last week after 28 years.

A spokeswoman says Clash "believes this lawsuit has no merit."