Stephen Collins Admits to Sex Abuse Charges: "I Did Something Terribly Wrong"
The '7th Heaven' actor speaks out and reveals details behind the audio recording that surfaced two months ago
More than two months after a recording of him confessing to child molestation was made public, 7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins is speaking out, confirming that he did sexually abuse three underage girls, from 1973 to 1994.
"Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since," Collins said in a lengthy statement released to People.
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The 67-year-old, whom authorities recently reportedly decided not to prosecute following the publication of his confession, says he hasn't engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with minors since then.
"I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way," he told People.
The audio of Collins' initial confession came from a marriage therapy session in 2012, and was posted online by TMZ in October, and Collins claims the recording was made without his or the therapist's knowledge or consent.
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He told People that he's speaking out now to reveal what really happened, and he goes into detail about the incidents.
"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 said.
Collins will also sit down with Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric for an in-depth interview that will stream on Yahoo on Friday and air on that night's 20/20 on ABC.
Collins is currently in a protracted divorce battle with his estranged wife Faye Grant, with at least $12 million in assets at stake. The couple's divorce trial is set to resume on Jan. 5. The actor, best known for playing the Rev. Eric Camden on 7th Heaven, was dropped from his agency, APA, and lost two acting gigs — on Ted 2 and Scandal — shortly after his child molestation audio emerged. Repeats of 7th Heaven were also pulled from two networks.
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and NYPD were investigating past child-molestation incidents, but TMZ reported at the end of October that he's not likely to be prosecuted, citing law enforcement sources. Since the alleged incidents date back decades, prosecutors have reportedly been hampered by the statute of limitations.