Stephen Collins has admitted to inappropriate sexual misconduct with three underage girls between 1973 and 1994, People magazine reported.
The US actor, known for playing Reverend Eric Camden in television series 7th Heaven, made the confession in a statement released to the publication.
“Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since. I've decided to address these issues publicly because two months ago, various news organizations published a recording made by my then-wife, Faye Grant, during a confidential marriage therapy session in January, 2012. This session was recorded without the therapist's or my knowledge or consent.”
The 67-year-old was referring to an audio tape published by TMZ in which Collins admitted to child molestation. He is in divorce proceedings with Grant and has remained out of the public eye since the tape was released but is scheduled to talk about the cases in an upcoming television interview.
In the statement, Collins said there were three victims from 1973 to 1994, and that he has not had an impulse “to act out in any such way in the last 20 years.”
“The publication of the recording has resulted in assumptions and innuendos about what I did that go far beyond what actually occurred. As difficult as this is, I want people to know the truth,” he added.
Collins said he apologized to one of the women 15 years later and that she was “extraordinarily gracious”. But he added that during his treatment he learned that being so direct could make things worse by opening old wounds.
“I have not approached the other two women, one of whom is now in her 50s and the other in her 30s,” he said, adding that he has agonized about whether to make a direct apology to them.
Following the release of the tape, Collins was dropped from the upcoming Universal Pictures comedy Ted 2. The cable network UP TV, which hosts reruns of 7th Heaven, said it was removing the show from its schedule.
The Los Angeles Police Department said it has launched a review of a 2012 case against Collins to make sure nothing was missed at the time.Reuse content