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Actor Stephen Collins confesses to sexually abusing three girls

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 07:  Actor Stephen Collins attends the 20th Annual Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala in the Crystal Ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel on March 7, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by John M. Heller/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 07: Actor Stephen Collins attends the 20th Annual Night of 100 Stars Oscar Gala in the Crystal Ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel on March 7, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John M. Heller/Getty Images)
John M. Heller/Getty Images
  1. Stephen Collins, star of 7th Heaven, has, in a statement to People magazine, admitted to sexually abusing three girls
  2. In October, TMZ obtained and released a secret audio recording that appeared to show Collins admitting to sexual abuse
  3. Collins has said he apologized to one of his victims

Stephen Collins admits to sexually abusing underage girls

Stephen Collins's confession of sexually abusing a child is not unlike the swirling controversy surrounding the rape allegations that Bill Cosby is facing. Both men are known for playing wholesome roles — Cosby in The Cosby Show; Collins as Rev. Eric Camden in 7th Heaven — and both were accused of committing some heinous crimes that drastically differ from how we "know" them.

Collins, unlike Cosby, has admitted to the abuse.

"I deeply regret the mistakes I've made and any pain I have caused these three women," Collins writes in an exclusive statement to People. "I admit to, apologize for, and take responsibility for what I did.''

According to Today, the 67-year-old Collins admits to exposing himself twice to a pre-teen girl in 1973, when he was 25. Collins also admits to having an encounter with a girl in his home, when he says he used her hand " to touch me [Collins] inappropriately."

The issue of People that contains Collins's confession will be released on Friday.

The TMZ recordings

"On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago," Collins writes in his statement.

The recording he's referring to is an audio file obtained by TMZ, which was leaked in October. On that recording, you hear what appears to be Collins speaking to his (now) ex-wife Faye Grant, and fully admitting to sexually abusing a young relative of Grant's.

"There was one moment of touching where her hand, I put her hand on my penis," Collins allegedly said. The two allegedly talk about Collins exposing himself to two other girls .

While Collins is admitting that he abused young girls, he says that the recording makes his actions sound far worse than they really were.

"The publication of the recording has resulted in assumptions and innuendos about what I did that go far beyond what actually occurred. As difficult as this is, I want people to know the truth," he writes in his statement.

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