After 27 years of being married, "7th Heaven" star Stephen Collins filed for divorce from his ex-wife, Faye Grant. Their divorce was finalized after three years.
The star who shared a daughter with his ex-wife was seen as a doting family man. However, he faced some controversies after a tape recording was released during their divorce proceeding.
Years later, he married a fan who had gushed over his character in "7th Heaven." The German-born fan who lives with him in Iowa is at least half his age.
Photo of Faye Grant and Stephen Collins on September 29, 1996, in Beverly Hills [left], Stephen Collins and Faye Grant at the world premiere of "Because I Said So" on January 30, 2007, in Hollywood [right] | Photo: Getty Images
HOW STEPHEN COLLINS MET FAYE GRANT
Faye Grant, Collins's ex-wife of almost 30 years, is known for her roles in TV series like "The Greatest American Hero," "Rhonda," and movies such as "Internal Affairs" and "Omen IV: The Awakening."
The pair got married in 1985 and appeared in TV shows together, along with the romantic movie "Drive Me Crazy." She has also starred on Broadway and has won several awards and nominations.
Stephen Collins and Faye Grant attending the screening of 'Streets of Fire' on May 29, 1984 in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images
She had met the dashing star in 1982 on the set of "Tales of the Gold Monkey," and she immediately fell for him. She said,
"I thought, either he's gay or a complete jerk because he can't be as fabulous as he looks and be available!"
However, their feeling was mutual as Collins said he was also attracted to Grant. Collins and Grant courted for two years and married in New York City.
Stephen Collins and Faye Grant at the 1986 D.W. Griffith Awards on January 27, 1986 in New York | Photo: Getty Images
When she got pregnant, she gave up her career to become a stay-at-home mother as they settled into a two-house compound in Los Angeles.
During her pregnancy with their daughter Kate, Collins was attentive, would play the guitar for their unborn child every night, and was known to dote on his family.
Stephen Collins and Faye Grant at the premiere of "Chantilly Lace" on June 15, 1993 in New York | Photo: Getty Images
THE END OF A HAPPY FAMILY
Their happy family life ended when he filed for divorce in 2012. He announced that they would be moving on with their separate lives. He said,
"She has been my dearest friend and a loving mother. I know that we'll go through this process in a way that honors our family."
However, Grant revealed that the divorce filing by Collins was a surprise to her. She said she was devastated, exhausted, and blindsided by his actions.
Stephen Collins and Faye Grant at the 'Human Rights Campaign Dinner' on February 17, 2001 in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images
Despite the years together and how she felt about the situation, Grant wished him well in his future endeavors. She said,
"I wish him the very best in whatever path he chooses to take. However, 27 years of marriage in Hollywood is the equivalent of 189 dog years."
A recording against the "7th Heaven" star was released during their divorce proceedings, and Grant was accused of having released it to extort her former husband, a claim she denied.
Stephen Collins and Faye Grant during the 3rd Annual TV Land Awards in Santa Monica | Photo: Getty Images
Before their divorce was finalized, the couple agreed that further counseling would not fix their marriage as broken beyond the point of fixing.
In 2015, three years after their divorce was filled, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Michael J. Convey, approved a divorce judgment that ended their marriage.
The judgment stated that Collins would not pay Grant any future spousal support payments, but he will pay her some of his pension plan and investment income each month.
Stephen Collins and Faye Grant at the screening of "Fuel" at ConservFuel on February 11, 2009 in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images
CONTROVERSIES SURROUNDING COLLINS
After their divorce filing, Collins was caught in many controversies after admitting to sexually abusing underage girls. A recording of his admission of child molestation to his therapist was released to TMZ.
Grant did the recording during one of their sessions with their therapist. However, both the therapist and Collins didn't know it was recorded and never consented.
In the papers, Grant revealed that she had no idea of her husband's alleged behavior and never witnessed anything first-hand that would have given her any indication.
Stephen Collins at the 58th Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images
The incidents occurred within 20 years between 1973 and 1994. Collins said he deeply regretted his actions as he had done something wrong. He further revealed that he had been working to atone for it ever since.
Collins said he had apologized to one of the women involved but learned during his treatment that being direct about such matters could make things worse hence he did not approach the other two women.
Grant, who filed the document as part of their divorce proceedings, claims Collins had lived a secret life and believed he used his celebrity status to make the families of the children trust him and believed there were other victims.
Stephen Collins at the premiere of "Devious Maids" at Bel-Air Bay Club on June 17, 2013 in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images
Collins was not prosecuted for either molesting or exposing himself because the cases were decades old, and the statute of limitations would bar prosecution.
The New York Police Department investigated the claims while the Los Angeles Police Department reviewed the tape. With no victims coming forward, he went home a free man and was not charged.
Stephen Collins promotes NBC's "Revolution" at Anaheim Convention Center on April 18, 2014, in California | Photo: Getty Images
A NEW START FOR COLLINS
Years after being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, Collins had moved on and found himself a new life in a small Iowa town with a new wife.
His new wife, a German-born fan named Jenny Nagel, is half his age and was reportedly one of "7th Heaven's" biggest fans. They reportedly share a love of transcendental meditation and attend sessions in Maharishi Vedic City.
Collins has also stayed away from the spotlight by living a life that includes meditation sessions, simply sharing a meal with friends, and mundane chores.
Stephen Collins and Kate Collins on July 14, 1990, arriving at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images
THE DOTING DAD
Before his life turned a full 180, he had been a doting father to his only daughter, whom he shares with ex-wife Grant. Collins became a father to Kate when he was 42, and before his divorce from Grant, they didn't have any more kids.
When Kate was nine, Collins said that his life revolved around her. She was an aspiring ballet dancer who suffered an injury in 2007 that forced her to stop seriously dancing.
Faye Grant, Stephen Collins, and Kate Collins at the 'Drive Me Crazy' Century City Premiere on September 22, 1999, in California | Photo: Getty Images
While talking about her career prospects after the injury, he said he never pressured Kate into becoming an actor because he believes acting is a calling.
In 2009, she was also involved in a car crash but wasn't seriously hurt. After she called her father to ask about insurance, he ran to be by her side.