John Shearer / AP 1 / 6
John Shearer / AP 1 / 6

Actor Stephen Collins, who played the family's minister-father for nine years on "7th Heaven," has released a 1000-word statement to People in which he apologizes for his "inexcusable" sexual abuse of three underage girls, the first of whom he attacked in 1973 and the last of whom he exposed himself to when she was a teenager in 1994.

"I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way" in the last 20 years, he says in the statement, which E! reports will be released in full in People's print issue on Friday.

News of the assaults went public after Collins admitted his wrongdoing in the midst of ongoing divorce proceedings with his estranged wife, Faye Grant. Collins has since claimed that she leaked a recording of his admission to extort money from him.

"I deeply regret the mistakes I've made and any pain I have caused these three women. I admit to, apologize for and take responsibility for what I did," Collins writes in the statement, more of which is excerpted below:

"Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since. I've decided to address these issues publicly because two months ago, various news organizations published a recording made by my then-wife, Faye Grant, during a confidential marriage therapy session in January, 2012. This session was recorded without the therapist's or my knowledge or consent.

"On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago. 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.

"I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious. But after I learned in the course of my treatment that my being direct about such matters could actually make things worse for them by opening old wounds, I have not approached the other two women, one of whom is now in her 50s and the other in her 30s."

In recent months, Catherine Hicks, who played Collins' wife on "7th Heaven," defended her former colleague as a good person.

It wasn't enough to help him keep his roles on "Scandal" and "Ted 2," though; both productions dropped him following the tape leak.

Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric is slated to interview Collins about his essay on Friday; the segment will stream live on Yahoo! and will appear on "20/20."


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