Stephen Collins Discusses Sex Abuse Scandal With Katie Couric Tonight on 20/20
It surprised everyone to hear that Stephen Collins, the loving and understand father/pastor Rev. Eric Camden on 7th Heaven, sexually assaulting three young girls over 20 years ago.
Collins insists that he in not a pedophile and sits down with Yahoo!’s Kate Couric, in an interview airing tonight, to offer insight into his behavior and that of his estranged wife.
“A pedophile is someone who is mainly or wholly attracted to children, I’m not,” Collins explains, “I had a distortion in my thinking where I acted out in those ways. But I’m absolutely not attracted, physically or sexually attracted to children. I’m just not.”
In search for the right words, he continues, “I remember talking about this once with a therapist about this and the therapist assuring me that these incidents were such that someone with that attraction would have acted many more times. They’re terrible and I regret them deeply but I was not looking. I don’t look at young women that way. I don’t and I never did. That may sound incongruous with those actions but those actions had more to do with that distortion in my thinking and the need for attention. It was not desire to be in any way in sexual contact with any of them. And that’s why I say in 1973 when that moment took place, it was like the end. If there had been anything desirous up until then, that ended it. It stopped it. It was the opposite of excitement or gratification.”
Couric asks him, if he’s not a pedophile, what does he consider himself. “I think I’m someone who gave in several times to exhibitionist urges,” he explains. “Someone who had real boundary issues as a young man and beyond that to an extent.”
Collins makes it clear that despite the reports that he told his wife he might have had incestuous thoughts about their child, that never happened. “That was reported from an email that she apparently sent to me. There was no email exchange,” he says. “It’s something that she made up. She wanted to put it out there. It too leaves me speechless.”
Collins discusses the leaked audio recording of his child-molestation confession, which was recorded without his consent. “She said, ‘Here’s out settlement. You’re going to sign it now, or this recording is going to find its way into the media.”
So what happened in Collins early life for him to participate in such disgusting, horrid, and inexcusable behavior. Collins mentions to Couric that there was an older women in his life who repeatedly exposed herself to him when he was between the ages of 10 and 15, although he stopped short of blaming her for his actions.
Additional interview questions from Couric with Collins can be seen on ABC’s 20/20 tonight at 10pm.