Actor Stephen Collins, breaking his silence after two months, has issued a statement expressing regret for committing child sexual abuse decades ago.
"Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since," Collins, 67, said in a statement to People magazine. "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." Grant has said she gave the recording to the police but did not leak it.
The actor, who played pastor and father-of-seven Eric Camden on the TV drama "7th Heaven," said there were three victims from 1973 to 1994, and added, "I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way" in 20 years. "I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago," Collins said of the leaked audio. "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."
He said he made amends with one victim. "I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious. 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."
Collins, who most recently played Dr. Gene Porter on NBC's "Revolution," will be interviewed by Katie Couric for a video posting on Yahoo! Friday and airing on ABC's "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m.