Actor Stephen Collins has publicly admitted that he engaged in sexual misconduct with three girls decades ago, calling his actions "inexcusable" and saying he was "deeply remorseful about what happened," according to People magazine.
In a recent statement the magazine published Wednesday, the "7th Heaven" star detailed incidents that occurred in 1973, 1982 and 1994. The 67-year-old said he has "not had an impulse to act out in any such way" since the third incident, insisting he addressed his actions through extensive therapy and prayer.
"Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret," Collins said in the statement. "I have been working to atone for it ever since."
Detectives in New York and Los Angeles began investigating the actor in 2012, after allegations were made to police that Collins may have sexually abused underage girls. The investigations were made public earlier this year, after an audio recording surfaced in which a man purported to be Collins confessed to sexually abusing three girls.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives, who are also investigating an allegation against Collins, are aware of the actor's statement to the magazine, sheriff's Capt. Shaun Mathers said.
New York police said the allegations they were investigating had passed the statute of limitations. In October, the LAPD said it was reviewing its 2012 case following publicity about the audio recording. An LAPD spokesman said Wednesday that the department had handed that investigation over to the Sheriff's Department.
An attorney representing Collins did not return requests for comment.
In his statement to People magazine, Collins acknowledged that it was his voice on the recording that was made public. He said he was surreptitiously recorded during a 2012 therapy session with his estranged wife, Faye Grant.
Collins said the first incident occurred in 1973, when he was 25 and exposed himself twice to a preteen girl. Months later, he said, the girl came to stay at his family's home. The two were watching television, he said, when he "moved her hand in such a way that caused her to touch me inappropriately."
"I had no further physical contact with her," he said. "It was a completely impulsive act and it's haunted me ever since."
Collins said he exposed himself to two other teenage girls, once in 1982 and again in 1994. He insisted that he had no physical contact with either of those girls.
"I don't say this to excuse what I did — it was inexcusable — but to clarify what actually happened," he said.
Collins said the 1994 encounter was a "wakeup" call. He said he apologized to one of the women 15 years after the incident, but said he had not reached out to the others — one is now in her 50s, the other is in her 30s — because he was concerned doing so could inflict more damage.
"With all my heart, I want them to know how sorry I am and that I haven't engaged in any such behavior for over 20 years," he said. "I deeply regret the mistakes I've made and any pain I caused these three women."