‘7th Heaven’ Actor Accused Of Child Molestation
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two cable television networks said Tuesday they would not broadcast scheduled re-runs of veteran TV actor Stephen Collins’ beloved family series “7th Heaven.”
The networks, UP TV and TV Guide, announced the cancellations after details of molestation allegations against Collins were reported by celebrity website TMZ.
New York police confirmed Tuesday they have an open investigation into allegations the actor molested a teenage girl in the early 1970s.
New York Police Department spokesman Stephen David said the complaint was filed in 2012 accusing Collins of forcing a then-14-year-old girl to commit a lewd act in the actor’s Manhattan apartment in 1972. David says the case remains open and is being handled by Special Victims Division detectives, but no charges have been filed.
Prosecutors will make a determination about whether any charges should be pursued.
Collins’ lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, and talent agent, Mark Teitelbaum, did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.
Hollywood trade publications reported Tuesday that Collins lost a role in the film “Ted 2” and resigned his position from the acting guild SAG-AFTRA.
Pamela Greenwalt, a spokeswoman for SAG-AFTRA, declined comment on Collins’ departure from its national board. The actor’s name had been removed from lists of current board membership by Tuesday afternoon.
The actor’s estranged wife, Faye Grant, wrote in a sworn court declaration in Los Angeles last year that her husband had disclosed he molested at least three young girls.
Grant wrote in the November 2012 declaration in the couple’s divorce case that she reported abuse to Los Angeles police, who said they are not actively investigating the actor, but could not offer details on any previous investigations. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said it did not have records of a case being presented to prosecutors.
“Stephen admitted that he has engaged in a long-term pattern of sexually abusing minor children, including sexually molesting three young girls over a decade ago,” Grant wrote in the sworn declaration, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in November.
In March, Kaplan declined to discuss specifics about the claims, saying his response was included in court filings that described the accusations as an effort to obtain a more favorable settlement of the couple’s divorce. The filings do not include a denial of the molestation allegations, but attack Grant’s use of them as “an attempt to extort concessions in settlement” from Collins.
The report to New York police was made six months after Collins filed to divorce Grant, who he married in 1985.
Grant and Collins separated in February 2012, roughly two weeks after the actress said she learned of her husband’s abuse in therapy sessions, according to her declaration. Collins filed for divorce three months after the separation.
Grant states her husband has said two of the girls he molested were abused when they were between the ages of 10 and 14 years old. She said she had no indications that he was abusing girls until he disclosed it in therapy, and that she reported his disclosures to police in New York and Los Angeles.
Collins has worked steadily in television and movie roles since the early 1970s, with appearances in movies such as “All the President’s Men,” “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” and recurring roles on series such as “No Ordinary Family,” “Revolution” and “Devious Maids” after “7th Heaven” concluded its 11-season run in 2007.
CBS Television Distribution, which owns and distributes reruns of “7th Heaven,” declined comment on the cancellations by the two channels airing it domestically.
Associated Press Writer Tom Hays and TV Writer Frazier Moore in New York and TV Writer Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.