Stephen Collins says he was sexually harassed as a kid on '20/20'
On December 19, Stephen Collins appeared on ABC’s 20/20 to talk to Yahoo Global News anchor Katie Couric about the child molestation that surfaced in a leaked recording this October.
Collins said that there were two instances in 1973 where he exposed himself to a 10-year old girl, saying, “I took her hand and moved it in such a way that she was touching me inappropriately. I knew that something unthinkably wrong had happened and I couldn’t take it back, and I think we both just sat there. We didn’t move a muscle.”
The actor also admitted to exposing himself to a 13-year old girl in 1982, and a 14-year old girl in 1994. Despite these instances, Collins vehemently denied being a pedophile. When asked by Couric on whether he was a pedophile, Collins said, “I do not fit either the clinical or dictionary definition of it. I’m absolutely not attracted, physically or sexually attracted to children.”
Collins talked about his own inappropriate experiences with an older woman as a child, who repeatedly exposed herself to him when he was 10 to 15 years old, and speculates that it may have been a contributing factor in his behavior.
“I think that that distorted my perception in such a way that some part of me thought—becaus—-I never felt like I was molested. Never occurred to me, that word never crossed my mind as a 10- to 15-year-old boy. It was a very intense experience. But I think somewhere in my brain I got the equation of, ‘well, this isn’t so terrible. I mean, this person who I trust is doing it,’” Collins said.
Allegations of Collins’ sexual misconduct with minors first surfaced when TMZ posted a recording of Collins confessing to child molestation during a therapy session with his ex-wife, Faye Grant. Subsequently, Collins was dropped from a recurring role as a news anchor on Scandal, fired from his planned role in Ted 2, and dropped from his talent agency, Agency for the Performing Arts.
Collins also claimed that Grant recorded Collin’s admissions during a therapy session so that she could use the recording to compel him to sign their divorce settlement.
Grant released this statement to 20/20 in response to Collins’ allegations against her: “Stephen’s statements about me are false and appear to be an attempt by him to deflect from his conduct. I sincerely hope Stephen gets the help he needs.”
Collins feels apologetic about his past behavior, telling Couric, “I think of those women—every day. And I would say, with all my heart, I am sorry for what I put you through, and I want you to know that nothing like that will ever happen again.”
An ongoing investigation into Collins’ child molestation charges remains open in New York City.