Stephen Collins has released a statement to People confessing to three incidents of sexual abuse of underage girls between 1973 and 1994 in what is said to be “vivid detail.” If you’ve been following this story, obviously you know that the former 7th Heaven actor’s estranged wife released audio of a private therapy session of him discussing those impulses to TMZ, out of revenge as the couple were going through a divorce.
In the statement — which will be released in People’s print edition in full on Friday — Collins says that he’s “agonized” over his actions over the past twenty years, and has reached out to the woman in the most recent incident that took place in 1994 to apologize. He says that he hesitated reaching out to the others out of concern of opening old wounds.
“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.”
“On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago,” Collins continues. “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.”
Collins also states that he has “not had an impulse to act out in any such way” over the past twenty years, and apparently just wants to set the record straight. He’s really not f*cking around either, because in tandem with the People statement Collins will sit down for an in-depth interview with Katie Couric on 20/20 Friday, which will also stream on Yahoo! News.
It’s tough. While the abuse of a minor is clearly a reprehensible act, you have to give Collins some respect for at least trying to make things right. Although I don’t know how much it’s going to help the other victims by dredging this up. Either way, it’s a stark contrast to the way a certain other “wholesome” public figure has been handling accusations in the media.