Seventh Heaven Dad, Stephen Collins, Caught on Tape Admitting to Child Molestation During Bitter Divorce

stephen collins divorce case and criminal defense attorney

Overview of California Divorce Laws

Divorce laws differ from state to state; in California certain requirements must be met in order for divorce courts to accept a divorce case. The divorce filer or their spouse must be a legal resident in California for at least 6 months, and resident of the county where the divorce is being filed for at least 3 months. No judgment for the resolution of a marriage may be granted by any court in California unless one of the two parties in the marriage meets the residency requirements. California divorce laws as contained in California Code-Sections: 298.2320.2339 allows for both husband and wife to have a separate domicile or residence.

No Fault Divorces

California also recognizes “No Fault” divorces  which simply mean, that any spouse may ask for a divorce without the burden of proving that their spouse has done something wrong. Two recognized grounds for divorce in California includes (a) Irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. (b) Incurable insanity. One can therefore conclude that California divorce laws seem quite liberal when one considers the “no fault” factor along with the “irreconcilable differences” as part of the grounds for asking for a divorce. But as liberal as California divorce laws may seem, fights over assets are often very nasty, and vicious. This leads us to the discussion topic of the divorce case currently going on between Stephen Collins and his estranged wife Faye Collins.

Facts on the Divorce of Stephen Collins vs. Faye Collins

In May 2012, Stephen Collins, a famous former star of “7th Heaven” announced he was divorcing Faye. He said both parties were going their separate ways, but said some nice things about Faye whom he referred to as “his dearest friend, and loving mother”. Stephen also suggested that their divorce would be carried out in such a manner not to cause any dishonor to their families. In the meantime, Faye was shocked when she learned about the divorce through the divorce papers and was totally devastated with the news. She nonetheless said she wished Stephen well in whatever path he chose to pursue in the future. She also said she was exhausted after 27 years of marriage to Stephen. So the couple appeared to be moving in the direction of a smooth breakup based on their initial statements. If you guessed that this divorce was going to be easy based on the well wishes of each spouse to the other, you are wrong because things quickly degenerated as you will be reading in the following pages.

Alimony and Faye Collins

An old adage suggests that money is often the root of all evil, whether we all agree with that suggestion or not, it does appear that in the divorce case of Collins vs. Grant, that old adage seems to be justifiable. All the sweet reflections from Stephen and Faye seemed to have evaporated and gone with the wind. The issue now under contention is about how to share the couple’s assets along with spousal support.

Faye is asking for an unspecified spousal support based on the upper scale life style she had been used to, during the long 27 years of marriage. Although she is relatively healthy at 56 years, she contends that being a stay at home mother to their daughter during the peak period of her career made it difficult for her to pursue her chosen profession. This was partly a contributory factor for her lack of skills for employment she argued. Faye has no college degree and says she has not been able to find work in the past three years. She is also seeking for half of the couple’s $6 million bank account, along with half of the value of the couple’s properties in Brentwood California. Faye is also asking for Stephen to pay part of her divorce attorney fees, and requests for half of the total value of the following items according to the report on TMZ Celebrity Gossip publication;faye collins alimony spousal support

  1. Sell their family home or for Collins to maintain the property
  2. The amount made from Revolution show which pays Collins $40,000 per episode and there were 10 episodes.
  3. What Collins made from Devious Maids which brought a total of $64,937 in 2013 per each of the 6 episodes
  4. Scandal TV episode which brought in $7,082 for a single episode
  5. Fosters TV show which made 5,500 from one episode
  6. About $5 million in property
  7. Rolex watch valued at $16,000
  8. Art Collection worth $40,000
  9. Vintage guitar collection valued $100,000

Stephen was the sole breadwinner for the family through his many and successful acting jobs; he made appearances on several TV shows including Devious Maids, the Fosters, Scandal and Revolution and “7th “Heaven which made Stephen very well known acting figure. He earned $500,000 in 2013.

Bad Divorce Situation Gets Uglier

To make matters worse, in the middle of this ugly divorce, child molestation charges is currently being investigated by the NYPD against Stephen Collins. The allegation was published by TMZ a Celebrity Gossip News on their website. It remains uncertain how TMZ obtained this tape. According to the allegations, Collins sexually molested three girls, between the ages of 10-14. Two of the girls were allegedly sexually molested for several years. One of the girls, now in her forties came forward and told her story, that she was previously babysitting the couple’s child in their apartment in New York City. The woman making the accusation is related to the first wife of Stephen Collins. In her account she talked about how Collins came to her bed room after he took shower still wrapped up under his towel, and then exposes his penis to her. She also said Stephen touched and rubbed her at times, during her years of babysitting work. The woman said she recognized Collins in one of his TV shows and contacted Faye in a letter about the incident but Faye did not immediately respond to her letter, until in 2011. When Faye finally responded, she told her that Stephen denied all the allegations she made in her letter but she found out that Stephen was lying to her after all.

Alleged Secret Recording of Stephen Collins Recorded Confession by Faye

It was also revealed that Faye secretly recorded Stephen’s confessions of the molestation allegations, during one of the couple’s therapy sessions; Faye did the secret recording at the suggestion of her attorney. The tape has been obtained by the New York City Police Department, which is currently investigating Stephen for child sexual molestation. A source from the New York Police Department told TMZ that their agents, members of the Police Special Victims Unit flew to Los Angeles and had an interview with Faye, and questioned her about the recorded tapes. The NYPD also spoke to Faye about other potential witnesses. According to court filings made at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Faye became aware that her estranged husband had been engaged in a pattern of abusing children sexually. She also told the NYPD that he admitted to such behavior in a taped confession that he molested three young girls about 10 years ago. The court filings also stated that two of the molested girls lived in New York City while the third girl resided in Los Angeles. Since this allegation may have happened while the girls were minors, this could turn into a felony case if New York City prosecutors decides to file charges. But there are questions about the legality of the secret recording made by Faye. In California, it is legal to make such recording to gather evidence for a violent crime which involves minors. Faye made the secret recording based on the advice of her lawyers. What are the implications of these allegations of sexual molestations against Stephen to his ongoing divorce?

Stephen Collins’ Lawyer said Faye is using Tape to Extort Money in the Divorcecriminal extortion case

The attorney representing Collins was quick to explain the reason why the secret tape recordings surfaced. Mark Kaplan attorney for Collins said Faye was holding the tape over Collins’ head in an attempt to leverage it to get more favorable settlement. Kaplan said, “Over the course of my representation of Stephen in the divorce case, Faye has repeatedly threatened to give this audio tape to the media unless Stephen agreed to pay her millions of dollars more than that to which she was legally entitled.” According to CNN Report Faye denied that she was trying to extort money from Stephen Collins through the audio recording she secretly made during his confession on child molestation allegations. Stephen gave the confession during a therapy session he had with Faye in 2012.

What is the implication of these allegations of sexual molestations against Stephen to his ongoing divorce?

This strange case which at the onset looked like an easy divorce settlement has culminated into allegations of child sexual molestations against Collins. While the child sexual allegation is still under investigations, it seems that these allegations are separate matter altogether and may have little or no impact on the final divorce settlement. Over the past years fathers in divorce cases were less likely to contest for custody of their children, which under normal circumstance were generally granted to the mother. But things have changed. These days more fathers do at least contest for a joint custody of their children. Charges of child sexual molestation may have negative consequence on custody decisions if either spouse is being investigated for child sexual abuse case. But it is obvious from this case, that Stephen is not denying the child sexual abuse confessions he made in the past. Even when it seems apparent that Faye may be attempting to use the confessions as a leverage to obtain more favorable divorce settlement, it may not happen because child sexual molestation is not the ground for this divorce, since there is no minor involved in this divorce case. The fact that Faye is bringing up this matter which obviously has no relation to her divorce case may actually backfire on her, because of the suggestion that Faye is doing this to gain more leverage in the divorce settlement.

Statute of Limitation on the Child Molestation Charges

CNN reports that the New York Police had knowledge of the child molestation charges being leveled against Stephen Collins. According to the report, due to the statute of limitations Stephen Collins may not be tried for those offences. TMZ states, “Although it looks like Collins will not be prosecuted — assuming no one else comes forward — he will still have to deal with the molestation issue in court. His divorce trial is next month, and Grant plans to raise the issue because she wants her portion of the assets protected in case one of the victims files suit, and Stephen plans to raise the issue because he claims she used the audio to extort him.”