It’s No 7th Heaven for Stephen Collins

IMG_8925By Leslie O’Neal

Stephen Collins became a household name while playing the role of the family patriarch in the popular TV series “7th Heaven”, which ran from 1996-2007.  On the show, Collins played a minister and devoted father to a family of five children.  However, the shocking allegations from his divorce case paint a far different picture of Collins’ real life persona.

Collins filed for divorce against his wife of 27 years, Faye Grant, in 2012 citing irreconcilable differences. At the time of the filing, Collins claimed the split was perfectly amicable.  Grant didn’t see it the same way.  Grant’s response to the divorce petition was explosive, alleging that she learned in January of 2012 that Collins had a long term pattern of sexually molesting children.   Grant further alleged that Collins had narcissistic personality disorder with sociopathic tendencies.

The situation dramatically worsened on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 when TMZ released an incriminating audiotape from a joint therapy session between Grant and Collins. The audio reveals what sounds like Collins’ voice confessing many of the child molestation allegations. Collins’ lawyers have accused Grant of extortion tactics related to the recording, claiming she suggested she would leak the recording to the media unless Collins acquiesced to her settlement demands. Grant released a statement adamantly denying any involvement in the leaking of what she called an “extremely private recording”. Since the recording was leaked by TMZ, Collins’ career has gone down the tubes. He was dropped from the film “Ted 2”, was pulled from previously filmed “Scandal” scenes, and has voluntarily resigned from the Screen Actors Guild.

Allegations of psychological issues are not uncommon in divorce cases. These types of allegations play a central role in cases where custody or visitation is in dispute, as the mental health of the parents is one factor that a court is required to consider in determining custody of a child. In Georgia, the Judge overseeing the lawsuit has the authority to order that one or both parties of a custody dispute to undergo a psychological evaluation by a court appointed psychologist or psychiatrist. Thankfully for all involved, custody is not an issue in the Collins/Grant divorce, as their only child, Kate, is twenty-five years old. However, it won’t be surprising for Collins’ conduct to remain a central focus in his ongoing divorce case.