Stephen Collins My Wife Peddled Tape To Squeeze Money Out of Me

EXCLUSIVE
1007-stephen-collins-tmz-03Stephen Collins' lawyer is putting his client's estranged wife Faye Grant on blast, claiming she has been trying to use the audiotape for years to extort money out of the actor.

Collins' lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, tells TMZ, "Over the course of my representation of Stephen in the divorce case, Faye has repeatedly threatened to give this audiotape to the media unless Stephen agreed to pay her millions of dollars more than that to which she was legally entitled."

Kaplan goes on, "When these demands were rebuffed, Faye attempted -- without success -- to peddle the tape in numerous ways to numerous different people.  It appears that she has finally found an audience for this tape -- not surprisingly, on the eve of the trial in the divorce case where, again, she is seeking millions of dollars more than that to which she is legally entitled."

Kaplan then says he'd like to address the audio confession but can't, saying, "Though we would like to address the tape itself, the circumstances dictate that we must regrettably refrain from doing so at this time."

And a source close to Collins says the incidents on the audiotape occurred between 20 and 40 years ago. 1007_stephen_collins_through_years_footer_2