Stephen Collins has come clean and confessed to child molestation.
In a detailed statement released to ‘People,’ the 67-year-old has spoken out about his “inappropriate sexual contact with three female minors” for the first time since an audio recording, in which he admits to exposing himself to a minor, was released to the public in October.
“Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since,” he said, explaining his decision to go public with his statement is the result of the recording, which was taped by his estranged wife Faye Grant during a confidential marriage counseling session without his or his therapist’s knowledge.
He continued, “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.”
Stephen Collins and his estranged wife, Faye Grant. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The ‘7th Heaven’ actor explained he “agonized” about whether or not he should’ve apologized directly to the victims.
“I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious,” he told ‘People.’
“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.”
Stephen will go into further details about his confession during a sit-down interview with Katie Couric for ‘20/20’ airing on ABC — and streaming on Yahoo! — this Friday, Dec. 19.