Pop Culture

7th Heaven Dad Stephen Collins Allegedly Confesses To Molesting Little Girls, So I Guess Nothing Really Is Sacred

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LA Mayor Villaraigosa Kicks Off Global Support For "Live Earth" Actor Stephen Collins, best known for his role as the pastor dad on 7th Heaven, has allegedly confessed to molesting several little girls. As a huge Jessica Biel fan I watched the show religiously, and while Collins always came off as a little creepy to me with a smile that never quite reached his eyes, I did NOT see this coming.

Collins is in the midst of a contentious divorce from actress Faye Grant. According to TMZ.com, Collins allegedly revealed to his wife privately in 2012 that he had in the past molested and had sexual conduct with under aged girls.

Under legal advice, Grant secretly recorded a therapy session during which she questioned Collins about his sexual misconduct.The tape allegedly contains Collins talking about touching and exposing himself to several young girls. Collins allegedly spoke of having sexual contact with girls ranging in ages from 11-13. One of the alleged victims is a relative of Collin’s first wife.

TMZ reports that the New York police department currently has possession of the tape and that there is an ongoing investigation in this matter regarding inappropriate sexual conduct with at least three victims.

Besides his work on 7th Heaven, Collins has frequently accepted roles where he is working with young children. With the exception of his role as a two-timing, emotionally manipulative bastard in The First Wives’ Club (a role that perhaps he didn’t have to reach very far for) off-hand, all of his television roles that come to mind are family friendly. He was on the now defunct Revolution, as well as The Fosters, both of which had several kids on the cast.

I’m sickened by this news and I sincerely hope TMZ got it wrong, but if their recent role in the NFL domestic violence scandal is any indication, there’s a good chance this alleged confession tape exists. Grant is a hero in my book for attempting to expose the truth rather than defend her husband‘s actions.

If there’s any take away from this, it’s that child predators can come from all walks of life and they can be very skilled at hiding their crimes. It’s not just the creepy guy in an unmarked van that you have to watch out for, anyone your child comes in contact with is a potential risk. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to lock my doors and give my kids an extra hug.

(Photo:GettyImages)

85 Comments

  1. rockmonster

    October 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

    #cancelTMZ2014 They were a part of that scandal? Jesus.

    • Doubt

      October 7, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Wait, what? Why would you want TMZ cancelled over the fact that they cleaned up and showed the video of what happened in elevator?

  2. Valerie

    October 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Ugh, really!? That’s terrible. Those poor girls.

  3. Ursi

    October 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

    not Commander Decker…. Ugh. I was going to rewatch Star Trek: The Motion Picture this weekend.

    If anything I think you’re right, this really goes to show it could be ANYONE. I’m just glad it came from him, if the source is correct. Because I can’t imagine what it would be like if it came from one of the poor young women. She would already be slandered across the internet for speaking out.

  4. LPerniciaro

    October 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Terrible. So horrible. However just because he played a pastor, that in no way makes him “sacred”. Did his wife wait two years to talk about this? If so shame on her for waiting that long.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

      The fact that she recorded a therapy session (I’m not even sure what the legal precedent is for that because there is a level of confidentiality there, even though I believe a therapist is obligated to intervene legally for crimes like this), means she probably knew she needed proof. What was revealed to her in private doesn’t count for much in the public eye.

    • Valerie

      October 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Yes, that’s true. It would have been hearsay, right?

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Yes, especially coming from her and not one of the victims. It could easily have been viewed as slander and fuel for her divorce. I think that coming out with it now was still very brave. She just needed that backup.

    • Valerie

      October 7, 2014 at 9:25 am

      God that’s awful. But good for her, I guess- better it come out late than not at all.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

      And the cornerstone of slander and libel is that number one, it has to be false. This most likely is a simple wiretap case, and in most states, if one party is aware of it, it’s legal. Also, just because it came from her and not a victim doesn’t make it hearsay. Hearsay is one of the most complex rules of law in existence, it’s books full of exceptions and circumstances, not a single concept.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Oh, there are entire tomes on exceptions to the hearsay rule…if you’re ever suffering from insomnia. A decent lawyer could get in in for reasons other than the truth of the matter, such as impeachment or credibility. There are rules within exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions, but it is most likely getting in somehow.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

      This is tongue in cheek, but multiply it by about 1000…

    • 2Well

      October 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Something to look forward to.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      It’s the worst, but if you get good at it, you can get almost anything in, because many lawyers (and lots of judges) use it wrong all the time. It’s one of the few things I still study. But yeah. Alcohol. Lots.

    • Allyson_et_al

      October 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks for the flashback to my Evidence final a million years ago.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      Right? The only class I ever literally cried in…

    • alexesq33

      October 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      I lurrrrved evidence and did mock trial which really helps with all those hearsay exceptions (at least with memorizing them!)
      but really disliked property – I got it – but just never did well in it!

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      …not counting Trusts and Estates. But probate makes everyone cry.

    • 2Well

      October 8, 2014 at 1:17 am

      I’ve shed some tears in Civ Pro. The prof was one of those types that really enjoyed making you think about why the law is the way it is and whether it should be changed. Plus he was a popcorn type of cold caller, and it took most of the semester for me to get comfortable speaking in class. In Con Law or Crim Law or just about anything else, this would make for interesting discussions. When you are discussing Rule 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on a late Wednesday afternoon, it’s hard to be anywhere close to his level of passion for the subject.

      His teaching style lends itself well to First Amendment though (it’s my treat class.)

    • brebay

      October 8, 2014 at 2:14 am

      Oh god, the Erie Doctrine. Civ Pro’s answer to the Hearsay Rule! Had a million flow charts on it, still don’t know, still don’t care, never use it…I don’t know how anyone can get passionate about joinder, though…except a civ pro prof!

    • alexesq33

      October 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      all I retained from civ pro was 12b3
      not even sure what it means – but it was a “file it or lose it” motion as I recall?? lol
      ETA – just looked it up, not sure why my civ pro prof seemed to harp on it so much….

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 7, 2014 at 9:40 am

      If it’s couple’s therapy, the confidentiality belongs to the couple, not the person.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Yes that’s probably so. I honestly don’t know too much about this. I know my own therapist is required to report that kind of confessed crime.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

      There is a lot of “if/then” and it depends on the state. For example. I live in a tri-state area. I’m licensed in one (pending in another). One state requires I break confidentiality for elder abuse, the other does not. One state requires I report past crimes, one does not. Some states require reporting of a felony but not a misdemeanor. That’s why it’s important that someone is licensed in your state. Also, the therapist may have reported it (or encouraged him to turn himself in, with the knowledge he/she would report the crime) but we would never know. That information likely would never be made public (if the counselor was a mandated reporter for past crimes). Confidentiality seems pretty cut and dried…but it’s really not.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 10:32 am

      good to know

    • Valeri Jones

      October 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Still, I’m pretty sure that therapists are mandatory reporters. In any case, if I were the therapist l, I couldn’t sit on this and not tell someone. Job ethics be damned. I need to be able to sleep at night.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 9, 2014 at 8:39 am

      If it were me I absolutely would have reported it. The problem is that the therapist could have reported it and we would never know. The therapist might also never know if an investigation was done. Since the story broke it appears that the wife was sitting on this for a while, so it’s possible that they attempted to investigate and she refused to testify or give info. The waiting for 2 years to tell police seems odd to me. But I know if the board finds out that therapist didn’t report this 2 years ago? She’s toast.

    • LPerniciaro

      October 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

      She held on to it for two years and revealed it the day before they went to court as leverage. She was absolutely wrong in what she did.

    • Valerie

      October 7, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Exactly! Why in the world wouldn’t she have done something sooner? Very odd.

    • ted3553

      October 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      not excusing him at all but it also puts a sour taste in my mouth that she’s only bringing this up now while they’re in the middle of a divorce. Apparently she wasn’t concerned enough about the damage done to these girls to come forward earlier

    • Maria Guido

      October 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Yeah. And it was really weird when she kept asking him if he went on “dates” with them. What?? These are CHILDREN.

    • ted3553

      October 9, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I did not catch this. WTH??? I had a guy I worked with once say to me in the middle of a longer discussion , “yeah and what if the guy just has a couple pictures of kids (related to kiddie porn) on his computer” Nope!

    • LK

      October 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      According to her statement today she did turn it over to police in 2012.

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      October 7, 2014 at 9:28 am

      I doubt the “sacred” connotation has much to do with his role as a pastor and more to do with the pop culture connection to 7th Heaven.

      It’s much like when a crappy band samples a good song, and you go, “Dear God, is nothing sacred anymore?”

      It’s an idiom, not a commentary on his role as a pastor…

    • Valerie

      October 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Right, that’s how I took it too.

  5. Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    October 7, 2014 at 9:33 am

    [Trigger warning: I’m going to quote a bit of the transcript, so if you are sensitive to seemingly callous descriptions of molestation, please scroll by]

    Grant at one point says, “With a ten year old. Okay.” To which Collins responds, “Well…no…she was 11, and then like, 12 and 13.” What the actual fuck?

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 11:36 am

      I can’t see any of the transcript for some reason, is there a link?

    • Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      October 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      It’s just one line at the very bottom. It was on gawker earlier today.

    • Rowan

      October 8, 2014 at 4:43 am

      Well that’s all right then!

  6. Jen TheTit Whisperer

    October 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Given his fame, likely considerable money (at least in comparison), the fact that no one has said anything in the media makes me wonder what he threatened those children with to keep them quiet. We are far too connected for things to remain a secret too long.

  7. LaughingRat

    October 7, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Not that I’m not glad she recorded the therapy session, but couldn’t that evidence get caught up in limbo for confidentiality violations? I’m not sure what the legal restrictions there may be, I just hope he doesn’t slip through the cracks on some kind of technicality.

    • Valerie

      October 7, 2014 at 10:00 am

      The TMZ article says it can be recorded in an incidence of trying to collect evidence for a violent felony and molesting a child under age 14 counts.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 10:07 am

      I truly hope this is admissible evidence. There are already people in the comments of some the articles saying it should be thrown out for being confidential– which is insane. Confessing to inappropriate feelings deserves confidence. A confession of actually harming a child should not be protected by anyone. No one deserves absolution for that. No one deserves a safe place for that.

    • Maria Guido

      October 7, 2014 at 10:51 am

      I’m with you.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

      I think it’ll get in, or at least get him to plead on threat of it going public.

  8. Anony

    October 7, 2014 at 10:03 am

    You know, as upsetting as this is I really can’t say I’m surprised. So many child molesters running around in Hollywood, especially among “family friendly” actors.

  9. alice

    October 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

    i wonder if the jackasses over at the Parents TV Council will pull 7th Heaven from its GREATEST OF ALL TIME lists now? (It made the “Top Ten Best Shows” List 8 years in a row. While shows like “Friends” and “Will & Grace” consistently made the Worst List year after year, for things like “premarital sex” and “effeminate man compliments another man’s butt”)

    But they probably won’t change a thing. Supporting a real life child molester is probably no big deal compared to their real life’s work: censoring your kids from The Gay!

    Excerpt from PTC’s 1999’s #1 best ranked show, 7th Heaven:
    “The show’s lead character is a dedicated minister and loving parent who offers wisdom and assistance to his family and flock in coming to grips with the everyday difficulties — teenage sexuality, matters of faith, and parent-child communications — shared by characters and viewers alike.”

    Excerpt from the same year’s worst ranked show, Dawson’s Creek:
    “Teen self-identification with homosexuality is given a thumbs-up.”

    GO FUCK YOURSELF, PTC!

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 10:32 am

      You can’t really blame the show for that. It’s not like they knowingly hired him and tried to pull one over on the public. Besides, who cares with the Parents TV Council thinks about anything?

    • alice

      October 7, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I don’t blame the show for anything.

      BUT: I take umbrage with anyone who continues to watch and/or promote that show under a “Family Values” platform. It think it takes a certain moral hypocrisy to listen to Stephen Collins admit to sexually molesting an 11 year old girl, and then watch him “in character” espousing family values.

    • Kheldarson

      October 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      That still doesn’t take away from what the show was trying to portray though. It certainly takes away from his portrayal and makes a number of fanfic surprisingly legit *cough* but the purpose of the show was to portray a Christian family with Christian values. As long as one is willing to separate art and artist (which I tend to for good stuff; 7th Heaven doesn’t fit), then I can see people still liking and enjoying the show.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      I’m with you there but that’s a whole other big crazy conversation.

    • alice

      October 7, 2014 at 10:44 am

      ps: i don’t think you have to stop watching Star Trek though 🙂

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Lord I hope not. That’s my sacred show 😉

    • Valeri Jones

      October 8, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      ugh. WILL & GRACE IS AWESOME!!!!

  10. Jen TheTit Whisperer

    October 7, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I did a little research NY would have mandated reporting laws, the therapist (I hope) reported this back in 2012, however, it would have been a “he said x in my session” and then an investigation may or may not have been opened. The therapist would not have known that information if he/she wasn’t told. My guess is if an investigation was opened, there wasn’t enough evidence based on that session to do anything. Which means had these recordings been released then, they might have had something. I’m trying not to judge her for giving this up now and not then. I’m failing. But trying. Either way I’m glad the case is open now and hopefully based on the recording charges will be filed in California as well.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

      In the absence of a victim coming forward IS there much they can do? I’ve been thinking about that where his wife is concerned. If he doesn’t name names and/or if the victim is not willing to press charges I’m sure they can still make a case but doesn’t it become infinitely more difficult with no witness and no one standing up to accuse him?

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 11:39 am

      You’re right, a confession alone is not enough, unless the victim is deceased. They will need something besides his confession, hopefully someone will come forward.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      October 7, 2014 at 11:51 am

      He does give specific names in the audio. TMZ, was “kind” enough to bleep out. But you are correct, if the therapist reported it based solely on that session, the police would have only those names, which the therapist wouldn’t know. I’m not sure if there would be enough evidence to talk to his wife and/or if she would be required to testify. I mean he admits he did it so that’s not up for debate. However, I’m more than a little concerned it took her 2 years to report it. One of the girls was a family friend who the wife knew. Something just seems off here. I can’t imagine they’ve been sitting on this recording for 2 years for nothing.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      That’s why I’m wondering whether their daughter was a victim, and maybe wasn’t ready to deal with the legal system, so mom waited? Lots of times, mothers don’t report, they leave the guy and get the kid help, but wait to report until the child is older and stronger.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      I’m hesitant to pass any judgement on the wife until more comes out about this. I would be much more outraged if the situation were on-going and the wife knew but wasn’t doing anything. To deal with a confession of something that happened in the past, I can understand she’d need time to figure out exactly what she could do. After all, she’d want justice for the girls and she has to make sure she can make her case. And like Brebay said she could be protecting someone.

      I hope against hope she wasn’t just being wishy-washy about it like a shocking number of people are. I recall a letter to an advice column from a woman who found out her best friend’s husband was doing this to children and not only had the wife done NOTHING and even tried to excuse it but the woman herself had been let into their confidence and was writing into an advice column to ask what she should do. I mean you’d think the average person would immediately be calling CPS or the police or something, not writing into Dear Abby, WTF

  11. LK

    October 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

    OK, so completely gave into morbid curiosity and listened to the tape. Just, uck. Really, seriously hard to swallow it was limited to what he admitted to in that discussion. I’d be concerned about statute of limitation issues. If there are any other victims out there, I hope they are able to come forward. This guy should be in jail.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 11:38 am

      I couldn’t find it, do you have a link?

    • thebadlydrawnfox

      October 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      I followed the link and was reminded of the internet rule: do not read the comments (easily forgotten on here where the comments are great). More than one person was vilifying the wife because he ‘did the right thing going to therapy and now his trust will be broken’.

      What?! Urgh, this makes me so angry. It reminds me of the Jimmy Saville case in the UK where, after his death, HUNDREDS of people came forward and revealed he had abused them as children, and a bunch of people reacted by saying, ‘why say it when he’s dead and can’t defend himself’.

    • guest

      October 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      The people that say things like that after events like this really need to GDIAF.

    • LK

      October 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Yeah anyone making statements that sounds anything like, “well he molested children, but she/he/etc did [insert nonsense obviously in no way comparable to molesting children] needs blow it right out their ass.

    • brebay

      October 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks!

    • LK

      October 7, 2014 at 11:50 am

      The whole “help me out here” trying to remember and list them all out. Not buying that at all. You don’t have trouble remembering THREE girls you molested. You have trouble remembering WHICH three you admitted to.

    • Maria Guido

      October 7, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I did too. It is so awful.

  12. Courtney Lynn

    October 7, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I’m shocked to hear the news and saddened for those girls.

  13. EX

    October 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    It’s awful and so sad, but the worst part is how often this happens. We just don’t read about those stories on TMZ. The scope of the problem is truly mind-boggling.

  14. tk88

    October 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Burn him

  15. brebay

    October 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    He has a 25-year-old daughter. Wonder if the mom held onto the tape until her daughter (if she was one of the victims) had gone through therapy and was ready to deal with the legal aspects.

  16. Blueathena623

    October 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    No no no no. I think this situation is even worse than usual because of his role on 7th heaven. Even though he, the actor, is not the character, the loving pastor, it’s hard for people, especially kids, to tell the difference. I would think that having someone you view as a benevolent loving person do something bad to you would hurt more than a random stranger or someone you had neutral feelings about.

    • Blueathena623

      October 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      And that sounds kinda assholeish but disqus won’t let me edit. All molestation by anyone is horrible, and I didn’t mean to insinuate that being molested by a stranger is way better than by a loved one since it’s all bad.

    • Ursi

      October 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      No, I totally get what you’re saying.

    • wmdkitty

      October 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      It’s an extra level of betrayal.

    • EX

      October 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      The sad part is that it generally is someone the child knows well.

    • Angela

      October 8, 2014 at 1:44 am

      Yeah, I really can’t say from the victim’s standpoint which would be worse, but the thing that I find extra sad about situations like this is that the more seemingly great guys who love kids turn out to be pervs, the harder it is for the men who really ARE great guys who love kids.

    • 2Well

      October 8, 2014 at 1:06 am

      Plus he worked with some young kids on the show, and there was a steady stream of guest stars and the like. Who knows how many children he was able to hurt?

  17. LeggEggTorpedoTits

    October 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Since the age of 4 my question/demand has been WHY. Just why.

    The rational part of me understands that its a sickness in the brain and that I will never ever ever understand because there is no logic or reason that will make sense to me.

    The irrational, angry and abused part of me doesn’t give a flying fuck if you’re sick. If you are compelled to do something you know is terribly wrong, get some fucking help before you do it.

    That’s it. That’s all I have.

  18. LP225

    October 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I can’t help but wonder if this had anything to do with Jessica Biel distancing herself from the show.

  19. gammachris

    October 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I was molested at 11 by a next-door neighbor. He was married with 2 kids, and he was a well respected school teacher. Monsters doesn’t always look scary.

  20. Melanie Black

    October 8, 2014 at 12:31 am

    I don’t think I can ever watch that show again.

  21. alexesq33

    October 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Rage barf!
    Unfortunately, pedophiles look for situations where they can surround themselves with children.

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