Katie Couric got straight to the point in her Yahoo exclusive with actor Stephen Collins.
“Are you a pedophile?” Couric asked.
“I do not fit either the clinical or dictionary definition of it,” Collins responded. Collins went on to describe a “distortion” in his thinking that made him act out by abusing young children, but vowed he was never actually attracted to young children.
“I remember talking about this once with a therapist and the therapist assuring me these incidents were such tha…someone with that attraction would’ve acted many more times. They were terrible, and I regret them deeply, but I don’t look at young women that way and I never did.”
“That may sound incongruence with those actions, but those actions I think had more to do with that distortion in my thinking and need for attention—it was not a desire to be in any way in sexual conduct with them.
Couric also asked Collins about reports that he’s been attracted to young boys in addition to girls.
“The answer is no,” Collins responded, adding that accusation was made up by his wife. “It too leaves me speechless.”
Collins tried to explain his behavior, which included forcing young pre-teen girls to touch his private parts.
“I think I’m someone who gave in to exhibitionistic urges, someone who had big boundary issues as a young man, and beyond that to an extent,” Collins said.
In an interview with People Magazine Wednesday, Collins admitted to inappropriate behavior with pre-teenager girls.
“Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since,” he said. “I’ve decided to address these issues publicly because two months ago, various news organizations published a recording made by my then-wife, Faye Grant, during a confidential marriage therapy session in January, 2012. This session was recorded without the therapist’s or my knowledge or consent.”
Watch the video above. More of the the Couric/Collins interview will air on ABC’s 20/20 Friday night.