American actor Stephen Collins, star of the hit television series 7th Heaven, is being investigated for child molestation after an audio tape of him allegedly admitting the abuse emerged online.
Collins, known for playing a wholesome pastor in the family drama, has been fired from a sequel to satirical movie Ted following the revelation by celebrity news website TMZ, media reports said.
In the audio tape obtained by TMZ, the 67-year-old actor appears to admit to inappropriate behaviour with at least three under-age girls during a 2012 therapy session with his estranged wife Faye Grant.
“There was one moment of touching where her hand … I put her hand on my penis,” he is heard to say, referring to an 11-year-old girl.
He then allegedly goes on to detail other instances of abuse, listing up to three different assaults.
A spokesman for the LA Police Department (LAPD) said officers were reviewing an investigation into a criminal complaint filed at the time.
“We are reviewing the investigation to make sure nothing was missed, and we are collaborating with New York (authorities) to assist them if we can,” said spokeswoman Nuria Vanegas.
“The case here has not been reopened, but we are reviewing the case for accuracy,” she added.
TV station UPTV has decided to cancel reruns of 7th Heaven following publication of the audio tape, according to industry journal Variety.
TMZ also reported that Collins resigned on Tuesday from the national board of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), before the end of his three-year term.
WARNING: The video below may be disturbing for some readers.