Stephen Collins, '7th Heaven pastor, apologizes for 'inappropriate contact' with minors

by Staff, |
Joan Collins (L), Stephen Collins (C) and Heather Locklear speak during the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles August 27, 2006. | REUTERS/Mike Blake

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- Stephen Collins, who was caught on tape in October revealing details about inappropriate sexual contact he has had with minors, released a lengthy statement apologizing for his actions, which he said occurred from 20 to 40 years ago. The actor was most well known for his 11 years playing the character of Pastor Eric Camden on the family values drama "7th Heaven."

Collins released a 1000-word explanation to People detailing what happened between him and his three victims decades ago.

"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," he wrote.

"On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago," the statement continued. "As difficult as this is, I want people to know the truth."

Collins felt it necessary to explain why he never apologized to all three 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 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."

The actor was very clear though that he has been in therapy and has had not had "an impulse to act out" since then— this includes all of his time filming "7th Heaven," in which minors were constantly present.

Collins will be interviewed by Katie Couric Friday. The interview will be streamed online.