Stephen Collins is at the center of a possible child molestation scandal, but before anyone had any idea the television father allegedly sexually assaulted minors, he slammed Gear magazine photos of “7th Heaven” co-star Jessica Biel in 2000. Back then, Biel was only 17 and Collins said the pictures of her were “child pornography.”
"The press has gotten Jessica Biel's age wrong in their recent stories about her," Collins, who played Biel's minister father on the show, said in February 2000, according to the New York Daily News. "She's not 18, as has been widely reported. She's 17, a minor.”
"Jessica's photo spread was child pornography. I don't want my kid to get the message that that's OK,” he said. "As a parent of a young daughter, this is very disturbing to me,” said Collins, whose daughter with now-estranged wife Faye Grant was 10 at the time.
In the photos, Biel, who turned 18 on March 3, 2000, is topless and poses in sultry positions for the camera. The words “Fallen Angel” appear on the cover of the magazine, an obvious riff of her being the onscreen daughter of a pastor.
Collins, now 67, was accused of child molestation after he apparently admitted to sexually assaulting three minors. Grant, his estranged wife, reportedly recorded his confession during a therapy session to give to authorities, but she said she did not leak it to the media.
“I woke up today to learn that an extremely private recording I handed over to the authorities in 2012 per their request in connection with a criminal investigation was recently disseminated to the press. I had no involvement whatsoever with the release of the tape to the media,” Grant told E! News.
The actor is best known for playing the Rev. Eric Camden on the WB show “7th Heaven” from the start of the series in 1996 to its end in 2007. Since the sexual abuse allegations, he has been fired from the sequel to the Seth McFarland comedy "Ted," he resigned from the SAG-AFTRA board and reruns of “7th Heaven” were pulled from two networks, Entertainment Weekly reported.
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