[featured image: US Magazine]
In a statement released to People magazine, actor Stephen Collins has admitted to three incidents of molesting underage girls between 1973 and 1994.
Collins, now 67, allegedly confessed to the acts during a marriage counseling session with actress Faye Grant (V, The Greatest American Hero), his wife at the time. The two have been embroiled in a protracted divorce battle, and Grant made the recording in secret during the confidential therapy session in January 2012. A copy of that recording made its way to TMZ, which posted it on their web site.
“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 resulting scandal has resulted in Collins losing work, being fired from Ted 2 and losing a guest role on Scandal. Additionally, reruns of 7th Heaven have been pulled from the lineup on the Up TV network.
At the time the news first circulated, the Los Angeles Police Department was to re-open a 2012 investigation, and the New York Police Department had also recieved an official complaint that resulted in the case being brought to the Manhattan Special Victims Squad, although it’s unlikely Collins would be prosecuted for any of the incidents, given how long ago they occurred.
Collins will sit down with Yahoo Global News anchor Katie Couric for an interview that will stream on Yahoo! and air on 20/20 Friday on ABC. The actor says he has “agonized” over whether to make a direct apology to the women involved.
“I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious,” said Collins. “But after I learned in the course of my treatment that my being direct about such matters could actually make things worse for them 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.”
Collins has a long history in the genre world, having starred as Captain Will Decker in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as well as having appearances on Falling Skies, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Revolution, No Ordinary Family, and most recently voicing Howard Stark in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble.
[via Variety, People]