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Stephen Collins has come forward to confess to reports of sexual assaulting three underage girls.

The 7th Heaven actor wrote an essay for People Magazine, admitting the issue was made public because he was recorded without consent during a therapy session with his doctor. The 67-year-old says the incidents happened over 20, 32, and 40 years ago, and he hasn’t had the impulse to repeat his actions in over 20 years.

“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. 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.”

Collins says he’s apologized to his victims and detailed meeting one of them 15 years after the incident. He says he hasn’t met the other two victims, who are now in their 30s and 50s.

“I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious,” said Collins, who remains in a protracted divorce battle with Grant. “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.”

The actor’s essay will be released in full on Friday, as he sits with Katie Couric for an in-depth interview about his actions. The interview can be seen streaming on Yahoo! and on ABC’s 20/20.

SOURCE: People | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc. 

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