Actor Stephen Collins confesses to sexual conduct with underage girls

“7th Heaven” actor Stephen Collins has confessed to inappropriate sexual behavior with three underage girls two decades ago.
“7th Heaven” actor Stephen Collins has confessed to inappropriate sexual behavior with three underage girls two decades ago. Associated Press

Before he sits down to explain all to Katie Couric, Stephen Collins has penned a confession of sorts for People magazine in which he details inappropriate behavior with three underage girls from 1973 to 1994.

He calls the behavior “inexcusable” and claims that he hasn’t done anything like it in the last 20 years, during which time he has been in therapy.

“Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since,” Collins writes in a 1,000-word essay published by People

“I deeply regret the mistakes I've made and any pain I have caused these three women. I admit to, apologize for and take responsibility for what I did.'”

The 67-year-old Collins writes that he exposed himself twice to a pre-teen girl in 1973 when he was 25, then had another inappropriate encounter with her in his home.

“When the girl and I were watching TV alone, I moved her hand in such a way that caused her to touch me inappropriately," he writes. "It was a completely impulsive act, and it's haunted me ever since to think of what I put her through.”

He also says the exposed himself to two teenage girls in 1982 and 1994.

He reveals that he apologized to one of the women years later “and she was extraordinarily gracious.”

The acts became public two months ago during the actor’s on-going, bitter divorce with Faye Grant when tapes from a January 2012 marriage therapy session were released by several news outlets.

Grant, who said she gave the tape to the police, has denied leaking it to the press. No criminal charges against Collins have resulted from it.

“This session was recorded without the therapist's or my knowledge or consent,” he writes. “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."

Collins, who portrayed everyone’s favorite minister dad, the Rev. Eric Camden, on the hit series, “7th Heaven,” brought up his time with the show.

“I appeared for eleven seasons on a television series with a cast that included minor females in our TV family, and countless other young actresses throughout the show's 11 years,” he writes. “I never behaved inappropriately on or off that set — or on any set I've ever worked on.”

Collins will give an interview to Katie Couric, Yahoo’s Global News Anchor, on Friday. The conversation will air Friday on ABC’s “20/20.”