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images-1612/19/14 Michael Rothman via Good Morning America

“Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret,” Collins wrote. “I have been working to atone for it ever since. 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.”

In the recording released in October, Collins confessed to molesting three girls. After the news broke, Collins was dropped from various projects, including the film “Ted 2,” and he also resigned from SAG AFTRA.

“On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago,” the actor said. “The publication of the recording has resulted in assumptions and innuendos about what I did that go far beyond what actually occurred. As difficult as this is, I want people to know the truth.

“I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way” in the last twenty years, Collins told People.

He added that he has vacillated over whether to contact the three women directly to apologize.

“I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious,” Collins said. “But after I learned in the course of my treatment that my being direct about such matters could actually make things worse for them by opening old wounds, I have not approached the other two women, one of whom is now in her 50s and the other in her 30s.”

                                                       ** My Analysis **

Let’s look at the single statement, “I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way” in the last twenty years. (There are variations given in the renditions of his statement, ie: “in the last two decades,” and “in the last twenty years” – both are equally imprecise).

We look for simplicity and precision in good denials. While this statement appears simplistic, it is not, nor is it precise. The “I have not had an impulse…” is different than “I have not acted….” He could have said, “I have not acted out in ….” but he chose not to.

One might say that “impulse” is even more complete than “acted,” since the impulse causes the act. You can have an impulse without an act. “Impulse” has a compulsive component to it, spontaneous, something unreflective and irresistible. “Act” occurs with more thought. You are not held responsible for “impulses.” You are for “Acts.” Thus, that word usage is very important. Further, and conveniently,” impulses” leave no evidence tracks. “Acts” do.

Let’s look further at the imprecision, “…in the last twenty years.” That is imprecise (as is “last two decades”). He talked about three women victims, so why not be precise and say, “I have not acted out in any such way since (the date of the last of the three victim acts)?

The reason this denial isn’t simplistic or precise is because there are probably other victims out there. They will surely surface in the coming weeks.

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