7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins admitted in a recent interview with People Magazine that the sexual misconduct allegations against him are true.
The 67-year old actor is best-known for his role as Rev. Eric Camden, the father in the WB family drama 7th Heaven, but has also appeared in several TV shows spanning back to his first appearance on television in The Walton's in 1975.
But the fatherly role he's best known for was compromised in October of this year when an audio tape was leaked to TMZ that featured a male voice, reported to be that of Collins, admitting to past sexual abuse of a minor. The New York City Police Department began investigating that evidence when a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said that a similar investigation had been going on since 2012 in that department.
Those investigations weren't addressed by Collins until now. In an exclusive interview with People Magazine, Collins released a statement confessing to the sexual abuse in an incident that spanned over 20 years.
"Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret," Collins said in the statement. "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.
"On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago," he continued. "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."
The actor goes on to explain how he has agonized over his conduct and hasn't had an impulse to repeat those actions in the last 20 years. But one key point of his confession has to do with his reasoning for not apologizing to two of those women.
"I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious," he said. "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 sat down with Yahoo Global Anchor Katie Couric in an exclusive interview that will air on 20/20 on Friday where he talks more about his confession and the abuse. "I had put that stuff behind me," he said. "Most people get to, or have to or choose to hide it. This came out. I didn't choose this to come out. I didn't want to have to deal with these things publicly."
Collins credits his Christian faith for helping along his own healing process and preventing further sexual abuse at his hands. "I'm a flawed person," Collins said during the Couric interview. "And in the church, it's actually one of the things I love about the church... it's really one of the main things about the Christian faith, is you know, Christ said in so many ways, 'bring me that ... which about you is broken, bring it,' and most people are broken in some way."