I don't normally write about celebrity news/gossip. In fact, I don't normally really think much about what celebrities are up to. But there is something I feel compelled to write about and I figured that this is as good a platform as any.
I want to talk about the recent allegations against Stephen Collins. I do not purport to be an expert in the case, not by any stretch of the imagination, but over the course of the last few days a couple things have stuck in my craw regarding the situation. No, I don't want to moan and complain about how "my childhood is ruined" by the recent revelation that Collins allegedly molested several children. I want to talk about two specific things that I find deeply upsetting in this case: the leaked tape and the timeline.
The legal intricacies of covertly recording a private therapy session are not ones that I know or understand. I don't know whether Collins' wife, Faye Grant, was in the right there. I don't really care. If Collins did, in fact, molest those children, I hope that the legal process serves him with swift and due justice. What I find most disturbing is that this tape was leaked to the press, who have then splashed the recording around as a hook to lure people onto their websites and into watching their programming. To me, this is a re-violation of the victims.
What these children have gone through is hell enough. To have the voice of the man who (allegedly) molested them played all over the news and internet, detailing what he did to them is a violation. Regardless of whether or not the names have been redacted from the public recording, these children know who they are and know what happened to them. In my estimation by listening to and sharing and re-sharing the recording, this is the general public contributing to the re-violation of these children and it isn't acceptable. It isn't okay.
I keep thinking of what Jennifer Lawrence recently said in Vanity Fair regarding the posting of her nude photos online: "Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody's mind is to make a profit from it. It's so beyond me."
Make no bones about it, celebrity "news" sites know that this recording, this bit of "gossip" will drive people to their sites, thus boosting their revenue. These kinds of things are their bread and butter. They are profiting from the sex crime that was, allegedly, committed by Collins. I understand that this is a news item. I don't think Collins should be shielded from that because up until a few days ago he was a beloved actor. Rightly so, people should know about this-- especially people whose children interacted with Collins over the years. But, to me, the recording being bandied about as a hook is just too much. I feel for the victims who have to hear it and to know that millions of Americans have now been privy to the details of their molestation. This is not okay. It is not right. This recording should never have been put out for the general public to hear. It should have gone to the hands of the authorities and left at that.
And speaking of the recording getting into the hands of the authorities, we have come to my second problem with this whole situation. The timeline of when this tape was recorded and when it was given to the proper authorities to investigate. I do not know what was Grant's motive for recording their therapy session. I am not even going to begin to speculate on that. What does seem to be apparent is that it was recorded in 2012.
TWO YEARS AGO.
Your husband, with whom you are in therapy as your marriage ends, confesses to molesting children and you record it. Then you sit on it for two years? How? Why?
From my understanding of the situation, Grant went into that therapy session planning to discuss and record Collins' confessions of child molestation. She claims to have known about his behavior prior to this therapy session, which is why her lawyer encouraged her to record the confessions. So, she got what she went in there for. A recorded confession.
Seems to me, that Collins' confession should have been handed over to the police immediately. Not two years later. Not on the eve of their divorce proceedings, but IMMEDIATELY. In the two years that passed between when the alleged confession/recording occurred and when it ended up in the hands of the authorities (and the media), Collins was able to go about his day-to-day life, which included interacting with underage actors/actresses. If Grant KNEW he was a child molester-- not just suspected, but had his confession-- why would she ever give him another 2 years where he had access to other children. Why?
This angers me to no end.
While I cannot imagine the shock and horror of learning that a person you once loved and trusted is a child molester, I'd like to think that it would take me MUCH less than two years to go to the authorities. Not because I am up so high on my moral high horse, but because I would not want another minute to pass where a child molester had access to other children. Especially not one whose career cemented him in the minds of the American public as the quintessential dad.
And that, my friends, is why I’m angry today.