The world is still reeling from the shocking and disgusting allegations surrounding former 7th Heaven star Stephen Collins. Whether you were a fan of the show or not, the news that Collins was taped admitting to child molestation came as an unpleasant surprise to everyone — and that's a severe understatement. Many outlets reached out to Collins for a statement, and it has finally arrived via his lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan. However, don't expect it to be about the recording, at least not directly. Collins' lawyer claims wife Faye Grant used the tapes to extort him and that the release of them now is just one more thing for her to use as leverage in their divorce proceedings.
If you're like me, you might have blinked and had to read that a couple of times. Considering the allegations surrounding Collins right now, does anyone really care why the tapes were released? Isn't the conversation about the things that Collins confessed on the tapes? However, the statement concluded with a final reference to that subject that isn't much of a reference at all: "Though we would like to address the tape itself, the circumstances dictate that we must regrettably refrain from doing so at this time."
Well, okay. To be fair, there's not much of a defense that Collins or his lawyer can offer against the allegations, so I wasn't expecting anything from his statement that would turn this situation around. I was just expecting his statement to actually be about his taped confessions, not about the circumstances of the tape's distribution to the public. The full release from Kaplan to TMZ went as follows:
Over the course of my representation of Stephen in the divorce case, Faye [Grant] has repeatedly threatened to give this audiotape to the media unless Stephen agreed to pay her millions of dollars more than that to which she was legally entitled.
When these demands were rebuffed, Faye attempted — without success — to peddle the tape in numerous ways to numerous different people. It appears that she has finally found an audience for this tape — not surprisingly, on the eve of the trial in the divorce case where, again, she is seeking millions of dollars more than that to which she is legally entitled.
However, as we recall, his estranged wife released a statement of her own on Tuesday in which Grant denied having released the Collins tape, so this is a he said, she said situation on a pretty epic scale. Then again, epic is entirely the wrong word here. Who released the tape and why it's being released now is not the point of this situation at all. It's not what people are wondering, it's not what people are upset about, and no one is going to shift their focus from the horrifying allegations against Collins to think about this instead.
Quite honestly, the statement released by Kaplan would have been more effective if he had left it at its last line, if he had simply explained that circumstances were preventing him from discussing the tape's contents. The entire statement just reads like an attempt to either shift blame or pull focus away from the allegations against Collins, which is the worst way to react to this kind of situation. If Kaplan's claim is true, then I'm not saying that Grant has any kind of right to use the tape for blackmail or extort money out of a divorce case. What I am saying is that her crime pales in comparison to the crimes that Collins allegedly admitted to and, quite honestly, it doesn't even factor into this controversy.