In an eerie echo of his off-screen turmoil, actor
The 11-minute short,
"Penance" screened at the Catalina Film Festival on Sept. 27, less than two weeks before an audio recording emerged in which Collins allegedly admits to sexually abusing three underage girls.
"Inside Edition" recently interviewed Ron Truppa, director of the Catalina festival, who said, "As the news started to break, chills kind of went up our spine." He added, "It's just one of those things that are really uncanny, when art imitates life like that." (Watch the clip at right.)
"Penance" is directed by Jeff Wolfe, a stunt coordinator who also served as second-unit director on the NBC series
In a statement to People on Tuesday, Wolfe said, "Although my short film, 'Penance,' has recently played at a number of film festivals, it was actually made in 2013." He added, "When I cast Stephen Collins, I had no idea there might be a connection between his real life and the part I asked him to play. I found the recent allegations particularly shocking, as my film is meant to speak to victims of abuse and the idea that the effects of abuse never really go away."
According to the film's Facebook page, "Penance" was pulled from the Denver Film Festival and didn't screen at the San Jose International Short Film Festival as scheduled.
Collins, 67, has not been charged with a crime, but New York police are investigating him in the wake of
After the recording went public, Collins was dropped from the film "Ted 2," and reruns of his long-running TV show "7th Heaven" were pulled from the air.