Recording Affecting "7th Heaven" Actor Stephen Collins' Ability to Pay Spousal Support: Attorney | NBC Southern California

Recording Affecting "7th Heaven" Actor Stephen Collins' Ability to Pay Spousal Support: Attorney

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On the day that was expected to be the start of actor Stephen Collins' divorce trial, his attorney opened up about the audio recordings during which Collins allegedly confesses to having sexual contact with young girls. Ted Chen reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014)

    An attorney for Stephen Collins says the release of audiotapes in which the "7th Heaven" actor allegedly admits he sexually abused young girls is affecting his ability to pay thousands of dollars in monthly spousal support.

    Attorneys for Collins and his estranged wife, Faye Grant, were in court Wednesday morning, but the hearing was postponed.

    Collins' attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, spoke with reporters outside the courthouse, saying the recording of a therapy session between the actor and Grant doesn't tell the whole story. The recording appears to show Collins admitting to his wife that he had inappropriate contact with at least one young girl over several years.

    Grant denies leaking to the recording to the media. But Kaplan said by making the recording, she breached her fiduciary responsibility to her husband. Since the recording was leaked, Kaplan said Collins has lost film and TV roles and his agent.

    Kaplan said that means Collins should no longer provide $13,000 per month in spousal support.

    "Mr. Collins is hopeful he can be reunited with his life and future at some point and his earning ability," Kaplan said.

    Kaplan has noted in court filings that Collins' is unlikely to obtain work again as an actor. After TMZ posted the audio, scheduled re-runs of "7th Heaven" were canceled, Collins was dropped from the upcoming film "Ted 2" and he lost a role on TV's hit show, "Scandal."

    Experts say Collins may not be prosecuted because the alleged contact happened decades ago. Nevertheless, both the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are investigating.

    NBC Los Angeles legal analyst Royal Oakes said the recording raises several thorny legal issues.

    "The fact the recording was done in a therapy session, apparently without his permission, could make it illegal to have recorded him - it could be a misdemeanor under California law and it might not be admissible in any court proceeding," Oakes said.

    The divorce proceedings between Collins and Grant have lasted nearly three years.

    "Mr. Collins is somebody who always has and always will be responsible for the things anything he has done. He will not take responsibility for things he did not do," Kaplan said.