Stephen Collins Says He Was Molested as a Child, But He Doesn’t Use It as an Excuse for His Actions

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 01: Actor Stephen Collins speaks onstage during the 'No Ordinary Family' panel during the summer Television Critics Association press tour on August 1, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Source: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The former 7th Heaven actor known for playing Reverend Eric Camden is revealing even more disturbing details revolving around the time he sexually abused three young girls. In an exclusive sit-down with Katie Couric for 20/20, not only did he talk about his horrific actions, but Collins also admitted to being sexually harassed as a young boy. Collins says an older woman "exposed" herself to him "quite a few times." Couric's question about why Collins would repeatedly molest minors prompted this response:

The thing that makes the most sense to me, and it's not an excuse because none of this is an excuse, but I did have someone in my life when I was between the ages of about 10 and 15, an older woman, who repeatedly exposed herself to me. I think that that distorted my perception in such a way that some part of me thought... I never felt like I was molested. It 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. This person who I trust is doing it."

When Collins refers to this older woman "exposing" herself that includes various stages of being undressed or completely undressed, as he described to Couric. According to Collins, he doesn't believe this is the definitive answer as to why he molested children, but he did admit that he thinks it contributed to his way of thinking.

It's not why I did it. I'm not blaming her. I'm just saying I think that's an aspect that went into my own distorted thinking as a young man. 
[Embed]

Before the interview with Couric, Collins released a statement to People, where he made a confession about his sexual acts with minors 40 years ago and he's currently trying to "atone" for his wrongdoing. His confession has led to Collins' agency dropping him and the pulling of 7th Heaven reruns

Must Reads