7th Heaven star Stephen Collins, who played the poster dad on the TV sitcom, has been caught up in a nasty child molestation scandal that comes on the heels of his bitter divorce with his estranged wife Faye Grant. The spotlight is on Collins as a leaked audio tape that reveals how he molested at least three underage girls at some point in the past does the rounds.

Extortion?

The New York Police Department is currently conducting an active criminal investigation into the case while the whole world looks on as a bad divorce has now transformed into a criminal trial. Divorce attorneys for Collins are pointing the fingers at Grant saying that it was her strategy to release the tape and use it as leverage during the divorce proceedings. Grant on the other hand has denied these allegations and even released a statement defending herself.

Attorney accuses wife of leak

Mark Kaplan, Collin’s divorce attorney, says that it was his wife who leaked the audio tape to the media and is now using it as a bartering tool to extract money from the actor. Kaplan also said that over the course of the divorce case, there were many times when Grant threatened to reveal the tape unless Collins agreed to give her millions of dollars, much more than what she was legally entitled to as part of the trial.

According to the reports about the origin of the scandalous tape, it is being said that Grant had taped the conversation when Collins was talking about his acts to a marriage therapist. Collins had revealed his past actions to his wife in 2012, shortly before the divorce proceedings were started. Collins and Grant had mutually tried to seek therapy to stop the marriage from breaking up, and it is there that Grant (without Collin’s knowledge) taped the conversation about the molestation.

Star under criminal investigation

According to divorce attorneys, Grant’s taping of the therapy session is legal since California laws allow a person to secretly tape or record conversations as evidence against someone who has committed a violent felony, and molesting kids under 14 years of age is a violent crime under state law. One of the victims talked about on the tape is supposed to be a relative of Collins’ first wife, and there are at least two other victims.

All three girls were under the age of 14 when the acts occurred. Law enforcement officials have confirmed that there is an active investigation being conducted for “inappropriate sexual contact with minors”, and even though decades have passed since the incidents there can still be a prosecution since the statute of limitations runs only from the date of reporting.

Collins and Grant have been involved in a prolonged divorce case since 2012. Over the years, the divorce proceedings have only got nastier and murkier as each party has tried to malign the other. Collins’ divorce attorney has accused Grant of ‘peddling’ the tape to many people before releasing it on the eve of the trail, but Grant has categorically denied doing so.

It does not look so good for Collins though. But look at Grant, she was married to a child molester!