Felicity Huffman is speaking out for the first time about the infamous 2019 college admissions scandal. The actress recently sat down with ABC7 Eyewitness News to address the scandal that landed her 14 days in prison, with a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
“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,” Huffman said. She explained that she had been working with college counselor William "Rick" Singer, the convicted mastermind behind the scandal, and had genuinely trusted him.
“He recommended programs and tutors, and he was the expert," she recalled. "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."
The Desperate Housewives star did admit she eventually realized it was a scheme. “When he slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seemed like … that was my only option to give my daughter a future, and 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,” she said. "It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future … which meant I had to break the law.”
She also admitted having second thoughts while driving her daughter to take the SAT exam in December 2017— an exam she would later pay $15,000 to falsify the scores of. "She was going, ‘Can we get ice cream afterwards? I’m scared about the test. What can we do that’s fun?’ And I kept thinking, ‘Turn around, just turn around.’ To my undying shame, I didn’t."