Three lawsuits brought by men who said former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage were tossed out by a judge who said in a decision published Monday that the men waited too long to sue, The Associated Press reports.
U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl said the claims must be barred because they came more than six years after each man reasonably should have become aware of Clash's alleged violations and more than three years after each turned 18. One other lawsuit is pending in Pennsylvania.
Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" in November after college student Cecil Singleton sued him for more than $5 million, accusing Clash of having sex with him when he was 15.
At the time, Clash said he was leaving his job because "personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work 'Sesame Street' is doing."
Clash was the man behind Elmo, the popular furry red monster, for 28 years.
Singleton's lawsuit was among those thrown out Monday. Koeltl also rejected lawsuits brought by Kevin Kiadii, who claimed that Clash initiated contact with him on a gay chat line in 2004 when he was 16, and a third person, a Florida resident, who remained anonymous in his lawsuit as he claimed that Clash befriended him in late 1995 or early 1996 when he was 16 or 17.
Sex with a person under age 17 is a felony in New York if the perpetrator is 21 or older.
Koeltl said Singleton's claim expired in 2009, Kiadii's claim became time-barred at some point between 2008 and 2010 and the case brought anonymously would have expired between 2000 and 2002.
Clash says through a lawyer that he's pleased a New York judge has tossed out three lawsuits accusing him of sexually abusing teenage boys.
Attorney Michael Berger said Monday that his client looks forward to the day when he tells his story free of innuendo and false claims.
"Dexter's" killing spree shows no sign of slowing down, at least when it comes to ratings!
Showtime's hit series returned for its eighth and final season on Sunday and delivered killer ratings in its last season premiere ever: Michael C. Hall's serial-killer thriller attracted 2.5 million viewers during its first airing, making it the series' highest-rated season premiere ever, E! News reports. Season seven's premiere brought in 2.4 million viewers. "Dexter" delivered 3.2 million viewers for the night, a 5 percent bump from last season's premiere (3.04 million viewers).
But "Dexter" wasn't the only Showtime series to deliver in the ratings: Liev Schrieber and Jon Voight's new show "Ray Donovan" debuted to record ratings.
"Ray Donovan" became the network's biggest drama premiere after averaging 1.35 million viewers during its first airing.
The series, which stars Schrieber as a Hollywood "fixer," delivered 2.22 million viewers for the night, actually improving on Showtime's critically beloved series "Homeland" by 61 percent. "Homeland's" series premiere brought in 1.08 million viewers two years ago.
Poor Kyra Sedgwick! The actress lost a battle with kale over the weekend, and husband Kevin Bacon is drumming up sympathy on his Whosay blog, People reports.
Bacon posted photos of Sedgwick, 47, with a giant bandage on her finger - the result of a kitchen injury that sent her to the emergency room on Saturday - both during and after treatment.
"Kale isn't always healthy ... if you chop the end of your finger off," Bacon, 54, wrote.
He later posted that the former "The Closer" star was doing well despite the injured appendage: "My baby is fine. All good. Still can't find the tip of that finger."
Jennifer Lopez sang "Happy Birthday" to the leader of the former Soviet bloc country Turkmenistan during a show on Saturday night, but her representative said Lopez wouldn't have performed there at all if she had known there were human rights issues in the country, People reports.
A statement released Sunday by her publicist to the Associated Press said the event was hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp. and wasn't a political event.
However, the country's leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, did attend. Berdimuhamedow has been criticized for oppressive rule by human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch describes Turkmenistan as "among the most repressive in the world."
After a United Nations visit last month, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said the country had made progress in the area of human rights, but "a lot more work is needed to complete this process and to ensure practice is in line with international standards."
Lopez's publicist says the event was vetted by Lopez's staff: "Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended."
The birthday serenade was a last-minute request made by the corporation to Lopez before she took the stage, and she "graciously obliged," the statement said.
Lopez has no other performances scheduled in the country, her publicist said. Her performance fee wasn't disclosed.
Jessica Simpson's tiniest fashion star has arrived!
The "Fashion Star" mentor, 32, and her fiance, Eric Johnson, welcomed son Ace Knute Johnson on Sunday, People reports. The middle name honors Johnson's Swedish grandfather.
The new addition joins big sister Maxwell Drew, who celebrated her first birthday May 1.
Although Simpson had initially planned to keep the sex of her second baby a secret, she memorably let it slip that she was having a son on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in March and later told People she was looking forward to adding a boy to the family.
"I'm so excited to have a son," she said at the time of her Tom Sawyer-themed shower in April. "I didn't grow up with a brother, and I think the unknown is really exciting. I can't wait to have that connection with our little man."
During a Christmas vacation, Simpson confirmed her rumored pregnancy news on Twitter when she posted a sweet picture of baby Maxwell sitting in the sand above letters that read "BIG SIS."
Ruben Studdard has already won the title of "American Idol." Now he may become "The Biggest Loser."
The "Velvet Teddy Bear," who won season 2 of the Fox singing competition in 2003, will compete on the NBC weight loss show as he attempts to battle his obesity - a task he has attempted previously with limited success.
"I was losing weight, but I was exhausted. It was making me sick," the 35-year-old told People in 2006 after attempting an intense workout regimen on about 1,200 calories a day with trainer Gunnar Peterson. "I'm a big man. There was no way to do those workouts on that amount of food, so everything was contradicting itself."
Studdard quit that weight-loss plan after losing just 12pounds but eventually found vegetarianism, which - along with exercise - resulted in his losing more than 70 of his 455 pounds in 2006.
"Every week we would start by writing out a meal plan and calories," Studdard said about his then-new diet. "The people at the vegetarian store in Birmingham are like, 'What's he doing in here?' "
In 2008, the "Sorry 2004" singer fell in love and married Surata Zuri McCants and remained healthy throughout his marriage but began putting weight back on after the couple divorced in 2012.
Now, Studdard will take another shot at weight loss on the 15th installment of "The Biggest Loser."
"I've never had an issue with my weight," Studdard has said. "[But] my family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart-related issues, - things I didn't have to deal with yet because I'm young. But I don't want to be worried at 40, and if I don't fix things now, I will be."
"The Biggest Loser" returns to NBC on Tuesdays this fall.