Felicity Huffman attends the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2014 in Park City, Utah.

Felicity Huffman: College Admission Scandal Was Not 'A Way To Cheat The System'

Home / News / Felicity Huffman: College Admission Scandal Was Not 'A Way To Cheat The System'

By Afouda Bamidele on December 1, 2023 at 12:30 PM EST

It took four years to break her silence, but Felicity Huffman is finally ready to share her part in the infamous college admissions scandal.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree fell from grace in 2019 following a viral government operation that uncovered a ploy to bribe students into elite universities. While many judged the "Desperate Housewives" star for scamming the system, the doting mother of two claimed her actions came from a good place.

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Felicity Huffman Believed Bribery Was The Only Way To Secure Her Daughter's Future

The "Tammy's Always Dying" actress and dozens of other wealthy parents, including the actress Lori Loughlin, made headlines in 2019 after they were caught in the government's criminal investigation, "Operation Varsity Blues."

The U.S. Attorney's Office charged the group with using bribery, cheating, and other forms of illegal fraud to secure their children's admissions into famous schools like Yale, USC, and Georgetown. On Huffman's part, the entertainer had paid the scam's mastermind, William "Rick" Singer, $15,000 to falsify her daughter's SAT exam.

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However, she paid the price for her crimes by serving 11 days in jail. While the scandal seemed like the rich abusing their wealth and connections to give their children an easy ride, the "Trust Me" actress disagreed, claiming her actions were all for her daughter's future. In the 60-year-old's words:

"People assume that I went into this looking for a way to cheat the system and making proverbial criminal deals in back alleys, but that was not the case. I worked with a highly recommended college counselor named Rick Singer. I worked with him for a year and trusted him implicitly."

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Felicity Huffman attends L'Oreal Paris' Women Of Worth Celebration 2022
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Huffman recalled in her recent interview with ABC-7 Eyewitness News that Singer, in his expertise, would recommend programs and tutors for her daughter, Sophia. But after a year, the convicted college counselor suddenly changed his tune.

"He started to say, 'Your daughter is not going to get into any of the colleges that she wants to. And so, I believed him," the mother of two explained. Because the concerned matriarch never doubted Singer's intentions, she was easily convinced when he suggested the scam. Recounting her emotions at the time, the Hollywood veteran said:

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"When he slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seemed like — and I know this seems crazy at the time — that that was my only option to give my daughter a future. I know hindsight is 20/20, but it felt like I would be a bad mother if I didn't do it. So, I did it."

The "A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend" co-author stressed she was only thinking about her daughter, adding: "It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future. And so it was sort of like my daughter's future, which meant I had to break the law."

Huffman insisted that her actions weighed heavily on her conscience, noting that she felt conflicted about falsifying her daughter's SAT scores. According to the TV personality, she nearly turned her car around on D-day, but due to her "undying shame," she could not take the risk and remorsefully pleaded guilty to her crimes in 2019.

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The 'Desperate Housewives' Star Reflected On Her Wrongdoings In An Emotional Letter

Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy leaves court

Before her sentencing in 2019, the Bedford native penned a remorseful letter to the judge presiding over the college admissions scandal case. In her message, the 60-year-old accepted responsibility for her actions, stating that she should have refused Singer's tempting offer.

"Please, let me be very clear, I know there is no justification for what I have done. Yes, there is a bigger picture, but ultimately, it doesn't matter because I could have said "No" to cheating on the SAT scores," Huffman wrote.

"I unequivocally take complete responsibility for my actions and will respectfully accept whatever punishment the court deems appropriate," she continued, adding, "How could I abandon my own moral compass and common sense?"

According to the "Sports Night" star, she relied on a team of experts and doctors after her oldest daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. The entertainer seemingly blamed these people for influencing her decision, claiming they became "a big part of my parenting and, regrettably, I came to rely on them too much."

"They came to outweigh my maternal instincts and eventually, in point of fact, my moral compass," the Primetime Emmy Award recipient declared. Days later, she apologized to her husband, William H. Macy, and their daughter. Her statement partly read:

"I would like to apologize again to my daughter, my husband, my family, and the educational community for my actions."

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