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Stephen Collins, who played minister and family man the Rev. Eric Camden on TV's 7th Heaven, confessed to his now ex-wife that he molested an underage girl and exposed himself to two others, prompting police on both coasts to examine his admission and Hollywood to distance itself from the actor.
"There is a formal complaint on file and the incident is being investigated by the Manhattan Special Victims Squad," the NYPD confirmed to The Insider With Yahoo.
The LAPD also told Yahoo that detectives are reviewing Collins's secretly taped confession, but the department has yet to open an official investigation.
While no charges have been filed against Collins, and he has yet to comment, fallout from the startling revelation has reached Hollywood. Within hours of the news breaking, he was fired from the Mark Wahlberg stoner sequel Ted 2, a source told The Insider. Collins also resigned this morning from the national board of SAG-AFTRA actor union, a spokesperson confirmed.
Meanwhile, the UP TV network, which reaches nearly 70 million homes, has pulled 7th Heaven reurns. "As a top family-friendly network, we are deeply concerned for the families that are potentially affected by these disturbing allegations surrounding actor Stephen Collins," network CEO Charley Humbard said in a statement.
According to divorce documents obtained by Yahoo, Collins, 67, admitted to sexual misconduct with three young girls during a 2012 therapy session with his now ex-wife, Faye Grant. Collins said the incidents took place over several years more than a decade prior. At the advice of her attorney, Grant secretly recorded the session. Much of what was discussed in that meeting was also mentioned in the former couple's divorce documents, obtained by The Insider With Yahoo.
In the documents, filed in February 2012, Grant says she only learned of her husband's "secret life" in January of that year, calling it "a long-term pattern of sexually molesting children." The document continues, "Stephen admitted that he had sexually molested three underage girls over a decade ago; at least two of these three girls were molested over the course of several years."
Grant also claims she'd been threatened by the husband of one of the victims for not turning Collins in to the police.
In the audio clip, obtained by TMZ, Grant asks Collins for details about a "disclosure" he made to her about sexual impropriety with a young New York City girl, who was a relative of his first wife, Marjorie Weinman. The actor admitted to exposing himself to the child three times over a three-year period beginning when she was 11. "There was one moment of touching where her hand, I put her hand on my penis," he is heard saying in the clip, noting that the incident, "lasted a few seconds."
His then-wife pushed for further details about the encounter, including whether he was aroused.
Grant, who was married to Collins for 27 years, also asked him about two other young girls, including another one from New York who was 12 or 13 as well as a Los Angeles neighbor. In one instance, he reveals that he made amends with one of the girls 12 or 15 years earlier.
In a statement to Yahoo on Tuesday afternoon, Grant insisted she had nothing to do with the bombshell recording's release: "I woke up today to learn that an extremely private recording I handed over to the authorities in 2012 per their request in connection with a criminal investigation was recently disseminated to the press. I had no involvement whatsoever with the release of the tape to the media."
NYPD's Special Victims Unit is looking into the allegations since two of the supposed victims were in Manhattan, the New York Daily News reports. Investigators went to Los Angeles a few weeks ago to interview him about the incidents. According to TMZ, source says the crime being investigated is "inappropriate sexual contact with minors."
This isn't the first time the actor has been investigated by the NYPD. According to the divorce documents, at least one of the victims did file a report with the NYPD Special Victims Unit, but, according to the Daily News, the statute of limitations on the case ran out.
Collins is known for playing the wholesome Camden patriarch on 7th Heaven, which ran from 1996 until 2007. Jessica Biel and Beverley Mitchell were among the young actresses portraying his daughters. On Sept. 17, Collins tweeted a photo of a 7th Heaven reunion he had with the women as well as his TV wife, Catherine Hicks, and other TV kids, Barry Watson and David Gallagher.
Another of Collins's roles — in the 1996 Lifetime movie The Babysitter's Seduction — saw him having a sexual relationship with his teenager babysitter, played by Keri Russell.
Update at 1:40 p.m. PT: Information added about UP TV pulling 7th Heaven reruns along with Grant's statement.