Felicity Huffman breaks silence on college admissions scandal: ‘Undying shame’

Felicity Huffman breaks silence on college admissions scandal: ‘Undying shame’

Felicity Huffman is finally opening up about the college admissions scandal, which saw her briefly incarcerated.  

In an interview with ABC-7 Eyewitness News that aired Thursday, Huffman, 60, broke her silence about her role in the wide ranging criminal conspiracy, which was dubbed “Varsity Blues.”

In it, wealthy parents of high school students — including celeb moms Huffman and Lori Loughlin — were charged with using bribery, cheating and fraud to fake their kids’ way into elite colleges. 

“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,” Huffman said, referring to the ringleader of the scheme, who was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison in January. 

“I worked with him for a year and trusted him implicitly,” the Oscar nominated actress said.

“And he recommended programs and tutors and he was the expert. And after a year, 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.”

Sofia Grace Macy, Georgia Grace Macy, William H. Macy, and Felicity Huffman attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019. Getty Images for FIJI Water
Felicity Huffman on ABC. ABC

The “Desperate Housewives” star, who paid $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT answers falsified, served 11 days in jail for the scheme in October of 2019. Huffman’s husband, William H. Macy, was not charged for any wrongdoing.

Huffman laid the blame at ringleader Rick Singer’s feet.

“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,” she told the outlet. 

William “Rick” Singer in 2019. REUTERS
Lori Loughlin exits the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse after appearing in Federal Court to answer charges stemming from college admissions scandal on April 3, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images

“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. It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future,” she said. “And so it was sort of like my daughter’s future, which meant I had to break the law.”

She did not tell her daughter, Sophia, about the scheme. Sophia has since retaken the SAT and was accepted to Carnegie Mellon University. Huffman’s younger daughter, Georgia, attends Vassar.

The Macy family at the Los Angeles VIP Screening “Rudderless” at the Vista Theatre on October 7, 2014. FilmMagic
Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy at A New Way of Life Charity Gala at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California on December 3, 2022. MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Huffman said that when Sophia first took the SATs,  she began having second thoughts about falsifying her daughter’s results. 

“I kept thinking, ‘Turn around, just turn around,’ ” Huffman said.

“To my undying shame, I didn’t.”

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