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Teri Hatcher in Tears as Dead Teen's Mum Pays Tribute to Her

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May 03, 2006 | 6:32am EDT

Teri Hatcher was left in floods of tears on a recent taping of talk show Oprah when the mother of a teen suicide sent her a special thank you message for coming forward to help jail the dead girl's molester.

The Desperate Housewives star agreed to secretly testify against her own uncle, who had molested her 30 years before, when she heard he'd been named as the cause of 14-year-old Sarah Van Cleemput's suicide.

Hatcher's timely testimony in 2002 came just two days before Richard Hayes Stone was due to walk free. Instead, after the actress came forward, he pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Van Cleemput's family never knew of the identity of the woman who helped jail the child molester, whose actions prompted Sarah to shoot herself, until Hatcher called them in March on the eve of the release of a Vanity Fair article, in which she revealed everything.

Hatcher welled up on Oprah as she recalled the emotional chat she had with Van Cleemput's mother Ingrid, who referred to the actress' brave decision to come forward as "the miracle we had been waiting for".

Then she sobbed as Ingrid paid tribute to the Desperate Housewives star in a video message. Van Cleemput said, "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you a lot of strength."

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