Stephen Collins once gave an interview condemning photos of a then-17-year-old Jessica Biel as "child pornography."
In late 1999/early 2000, Biel, a star on 7th Heaven, had reportedly become frustrated with her lack of offers for film roles. Rumors circulated that Biel hoped the Gear shoot, which featured her posing topless (but mostly covered), would help break a two-year contract she had on the Aaron Spelling-produced family drama and shed her image as Mary Camden.
After the photos were published, the New York Daily News reported that an "angry and upset" Collins called gossip columnist Marilyn Beck, who was working there at the time. (Beck died earlier this year.) In the Feb. 11, 2000 interview Collins shared his "concerns:"
"The press has gotten Jessica Biel's age wrong in their recent stories about her," says Collins, Biel's minister father on the show. "She's not 18, as has been widely reported. She's 17, a minor.
"And as such, he said, "Jessica's photo spread was child pornography. I don't want my kid to get the message that that's okay.
"As a parent of a young daughter, this is very disturbing to me," Collins told Beck in 2000.
Biel gave an interview a year later to Entertainment Weekly expressing some regret over the photo shoot (she called it a "bad decision" but also a "blessing in disguise" because it taught her more about the nature of the business). For those who don't remember or didn't follow entertainment stories like this at the time, this was a really big deal. Church and religious groups flipped out because sweet Mary Camden was topless and Biel was attacked by almost every media outlet and pundit for taking provocative pictures. To be fair, a lot of the criticism was about the fact that she was a minor at the time she took the photos.
Meanwhile, Collins, the man who angrily condemned her for posing for those pictures, is under investigation for actual sex crimes that he has confessed to committing.
Image via Getty Images.