TMZ just published audio of actor Stephen Collins, best known for playing a pastor and father of a large family on 7th Heaven, admitting to molesting an underage New York girl. He says, "There was one moment of touching where her hand, I put her hand on my penis."

The confession came during a therapy session with his wife, Faye Grant. According to TMZ:

Collins -- who is in the middle of a nasty, prolonged divorce with actress Faye Grant -- revealed to her in 2012 he had molested and/or exposed himself to several underage girls years before. Collins and Grant went to a therapist where she peppered him with questions about the incidents ... and he not only answered, he was specific.

Here's what Collins didn't know at the time. Grant taped the therapy session. We're told her lawyer advised her it was legal to secretly record the conversation because in California you're allowed to secretly record conversations to gather evidence the other person committed a violent felony ... and molesting a child under the age of 14 qualifies.



The NYPD is investigating, and Special Victims Unit detectives apparently went to LA to interview Collins. A source tells the Daily News, "We have an active investigation involving Stephen Collins." And the News adds, "This is not the first time the NYPD has investigated Collins, officials said. The actor had been the subject of a sex abuse investigation several years ago, but the statute of limitations on the case ran out, so no charges were ever filed, the source said."

Update: TMZ says that one of the victims was a relative of Collins' first wife :

According to sources present during the police interview ... the woman claims when she was 10 she would sometimes stay with Stephen and his wife at their NYC apartment.

She told cops ... she would sleep in the guest room and Stephen would come in after showering, wearing only a towel. She claims he would then expose himself and several times put her hand on his penis. She says he would also touch and rub on her.

The woman claims she would often thwart Collins' overtures by pretending to be asleep.

We're told the woman says in the '90s she was watching TV with her husband and saw Collins on the screen, and then told her husband for the first time Collins had molested her.

We're also told in 2000 the woman contacted Collins' current wife, Faye Grant, by sending her an anonymous letter warning her that her husband was a child molester.

Grant apparently never responded, until late 2011 after Collins allegedly told her about the incidents, "Grant sent the woman an email -- obtained by TMZ -- in which she says, 'Stephen lied when confronted 12 years ago. He said he had a hole in his holey jeans, as was the style then, and you 'must have' seen his genitalia one time.' Grant goes on, 'Stephen is not remorseful, shows no guilt, and his shame is demonstrated as extreme self pity. He wails and cries, 'I'm in so much paaaaaain!!!'"

Grant issued a statement to E!, "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."