This is straight-up terrible news, but TMZ is reporting that Stephen Collins — who played a Protestant minister and the patriarch of the Camden family on 7th Heaven — allegedly confessed to his estranged wife that he molested children, a confession the wife has on tape.
The NYPD is investigating. Audio of the confession is available on TMZ.
Collins — who is in the middle of a nasty, prolonged divorce with actress Faye Grant — revealed to her in 2012 he had molested and/or exposed himself to several underage girls years before. Collins and Grant went to a therapist where she peppered him with questions about the incidents … and he not only answered, he was specific.
Here’s what Collins didn’t know at the time. Grant taped the therapy session. We’re told her lawyer advised her it was legal to secretly record the conversation because in California you’re allowed to secretly record conversations to gather evidence the other person committed a violent felony … and molesting a child under the age of 14 qualifies.
Names are left off to protect the victims, but Collins confesses to inappropriate touching of a “list” of at least three girls under the age of 13, one of whom was an 11-year-old relative of his first wife at the time.
NYPD officers have flown to Los Angeles to continue their investigation.
Obviously, this is terrible, terrible news, and hopefully — given the fact that Collins worked with multiple underage actresses in 7th Heaven — we won’t find out that he engaged in this behavior with other children.