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Arts and Entertainment

Stephen Collins Plays A Pedophile Priest In Ill-Timed Short Film On The Festival Circuit

Stephen Collins at the L.A. premiere of 'The Three Stooges' in 2012 in Hollywood (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
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Well, this is a creepy coincidence. Stephen Collins, the 7th Heaven actor accused of molesting children, portrays a pedophile priest in an indie short film that's currently making the rounds at film festivals.According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 11-minute short, Penance, recently screened at the Catalina Film Festival on Sept. 27, and has received several awards at other film festivals around the country. The screening took place just days before TMZ released on Oct. 7 an audio recording of 67-year-old Collins allegedly admitting he molested three girls. Since then, the NYPD is investigating Collins, networks have dropped playing reruns of 7th Heaven, and pretty much everyone is firing Collins from his jobs.

From Penance's website, this is the description of the film:

One mans journey of forgiveness. David Lyons (Safe Haven, Revolution) plays Thomas Walker, a man hounded by personal demons and inner turmoil who has lived long enough with the scars of his past. Stephen Collins (7th Heaven, Blood Diamond) is the Priest he visits to clear his conscience and discover exactly what it means to find forgiveness... or to give it.

Penance director Jeff Wolfe, who previously worked with Collins and Lyons on NBC's Revolution, gave People a statement about the bad timing of the film and his casting choice: "Although my short film, Penance, has recently played at a number of film festivals, it was actually made in 2013," said Wolfe. "When I cast Stephen Collins, I had no idea there might be a connection between his real life and the part I asked him to play. I found the recent allegations particularly shocking, as my film is meant to speak to victims of abuse and the idea that the effects of abuse never really go away."

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