Judge finalizes divorce of '7th Heaven' actor Stephen Collins in case marked by abuse claims - InfoNews

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Judge finalizes divorce of '7th Heaven' actor Stephen Collins in case marked by abuse claims

FILE - This July 1, 2008 file photo shows actor Stephen Collins posing for a picture outside of the Shubert Theatre in New York. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge finalized Collins' divorce from Faye Grant, his wife of nearly 30 years, on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. The pair's divorce turned into one of Hollywood's most acrimonious breakups in recent years, with Collins acknowledging he had inappropriate contact with three underage girls after Grant included the accusations in court filings. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
January 23, 2015 - 4:51 PM

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Veteran television actor Stephen Collins and his wife of nearly 30 years have finalized their divorce, an acrimonious breakup that revealed the former "7th Heaven" star had inappropriate contact with underage girls decades ago.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael J. Convey on Friday approved a divorce judgment that ended Collins' marriage to Faye Grant, who first disclosed molestation allegations against her estranged husband in court filings. Collins acknowledged he acted inappropriately with three underage girls in incidents that occurred between 1973 and 1994.

The revelation cost Collins several roles after audio of a 2012 therapy session in which he discussed the incidents was posted by celebrity website TMZ last year. Grant recorded the session but denies leaking the audio to the website.

Collins sought to deny his wife any future spousal support payments.

A copy of the couple's divorce judgment was not immediately available.

A divorce trial was scheduled to begin next month. The trial would have focused on the financial fallout from the release of the therapy session audio and would have divided the pair's assets.

Grant and Collins and their attorneys reached a settlement on Friday after negotiating for several days at a downtown Los Angeles courthouse.

They both said during Friday's hearing that the marriage was irretrievably broken and could not be fixed through further counselling.

Collins filed for divorce in May 2012 and the case received little attention until the molestation allegations became public.

The actor acknowledged in an interview with Katie Couric that he molested one girl and engaged in sexual misconduct with two other underage girls. He denied he was a pedophile and said he has controlled his urges since 1994.

Grant included the molestation accusations in divorce proceedings and authorities in New York and Los Angeles have investigated the claims, but Collins has not been charged.

The incidents occurred between 1973 and 1994, according to a statement Collins released to People magazine in December.

"Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret," Collins wrote. "I have been working to atone for it ever since."

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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