Katie Couric, Stephen Collins Katie Couric, Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins issued an emotional and at times teary apology to his victims in his 20/20 interview with Katie Couric Friday.

"I think of those young women every day," Collins said, "and I would say, with all my heart, I am sorry for what I put you through and I want you to know that nothing like that will ever happen again."

In new footage from Couric's sit-down with the 7th Heaven actor, Collins claimed that he had been sexually harassed by an older woman who exposed herself to him "quite a few times" when he was between the ages of 10 and 15. "I think that that distorted my reception in such a way," he said. "It was a very intense experience, but I think somewhere in my brain, I got the equation of well, this isn't so terrible."

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Collins said he doesn't blame the experiences for his own bad behavior. "It's not why I did it. I'm not blaming her," he said. "That's an aspect that went into my own distorted thinking as a young man."

Collins also went into more detail about the incidents with his three victims, the first being in 1973 when Collins was 25 and his victim was only 10. The first time, he exposed himself to her and several months later, he went further. "She came to visit, and she and I were watching TV alone together and I took her hand and moved it in such a way that she was touching me inappropriately. I knew that it was something unthinkably wrong [that] had just happened that I couldn't take back," he recalled. "Forty-five seconds later, I took her hand and moved it back."

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Collins claimed that "there was no physical contact of any kind" with either of the two other underage girls he later exposed himself to in 1982 and 1994, respectively. When asked why he did it, Collins reiterated his claims that he is not attracted to underage girls. "It was not exciting. It was not gratifying," Collins said. "It was a combination of poor impulse control, arrogance."

The actor added that he is still in regular therapy and is confident nothing like this will ever happen again. "It's just not gonna happen again and it hasn't."

Watch his 20/20 interview here:


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