Stephen Collins, who we all know and love as Eric Camden, the reverend and father from the popular TV show 7th Heaven, has been revealed as a paedophile, according to Gossip Cop.

In an audio recording (watch video below) taken by his estranged wife, Faye Grant, Stephen talks about exposing himself to an 11-year-old, making her touch his penis. He also refers to two other girls who were underage and says he “made amends” to one of them. The NYPD has opened a criminal investigation.

Stephen’s lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, responded to the audio tape leak by saying Faye was trying to squeeze more money out of his client before their divorce. In her divorce papers, Faye says that Stephen is a paedophile and has a history of molesting children, reports Gossip Cop.

Either way, I think it’s very important that this information came to light.

I remember watching 7th Heaven as a child, wishing my family was like the Camdens and that Eric could be my dad. I’ve also recently watched a few reruns of the show and got caught in a wave of nostalgia.

Now, it feels like that’s all seriously tainted. And while it hasn’t been mentioned exactly when Stephen molested these girls, it’s very likely that these incidents happened while he was still on the show. He was surrounded by children on the show and portrayed, not only a religious man, but a man who was a caring father and counselled victims of abuse.

Catherine Hicks, who played his wife Annie on the show, says there was never any indication he was a paedophile while they were on the show and called Stephen a “good guy” in her opinion, reports the Daily Mail.

As a result of the leaked tape, reruns of 7th Heaven have been pulled from American television line-ups. Stephen has also been cut from the upcoming sequel Ted 2, and has resigned from his position on the Screen Actors Guild Board.

Channel24 reports that the most recent development in this story is that police stormed the actor’s house in response to claims from his neighbours that the actor had committed suicide. Police found no one at home and there was also no evidence of a gunshot, as reported by his neighbours.

Listen to the audio tape below. WARNING: This contains content of a sexual nature.

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