Stephen Collins, the actor that played the beloved father (and pastor) on the former series 7th Heaven, has confirmed the shocking allegations of his sexual misconduct with young girls.
Collins penned an essay for People magazine, admitting to his misdeeds.
The actor reveals he inappropriately touched one girl and exposed himself to two others between 1973 and 1994, and that his actions were ‘inexcusable’ and have ‘haunted’ him ever since.
There have been no victims come forward and the 67 year-old actor was never charged with anything. But his inappropriate behavior surfaced in October when his estranged wife released tape confessions.
As a result, Stephen Collins lost acting gigs on Scandal and the sequel to the movie Ted. Even reruns of 7th Heaven were pulled off the air.
Collins wrote in his confessional essay, “Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since”.
He made the decision to speak publicly about the reports because he believes some of his actions have been elaborated.
Collins explained, “‘On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago. 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 claims the only time he touched a girl inappropriately was in 1973, when he was 25 and a pre-teen girl came to stay with him and his first wife.
Collins says he exposed himself to the girl twice before, but took things to another level on the visit.
He admitted, “When the girl and I were watched TV alone, I loved her hand in such a way that caused her to touch me inappropriately. It lasted less than a minute, during which there was no gratification. I then left the room. I had no further physical contact with her. It was a completely impulsive act and it’s haunted me ever since to think of what I put her through.”
Collins says he continued to expose himself to two more underage girls, once in 1982 and again in 1994.
The actor said he has had therapy and religious counseling for the past twenty years, which has helped keep him from hurting other young girls.
Collins says he planned to release a statement after his divorce was finalized, but decided to come forward earlier when the trial was postponed.
He says he owed family, friends and the public an explanation. Collins adds, “I want to reassure them about who I am, and I want them to understand that I take these issues very seriously”.
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