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Felicity Huffman finally breaks silence over college admission scandal and jail

The Desperate Housewives star was not the only celebrity implicated in the scandal

Felicity Huffman finally breaks silence over college admission scandal and jail
Bryony Gooch
Bryony GoochUS Writer
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Felicity Huffman has broken her silence on her role in the college admission scandal which saw her imprisoned for 11 days in 2019.

The former Desperate Housewives star, married to Shameless star William H. Macy, gave her first and only interview to ABC-7 Eyewitness News about why she broke the law.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 03: (L-R) Felicity Huffman and William Macy attends A New Way Of Life 2022 Gala at Skirball Cultural Center on December 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)© Leon Bennett
Felicity with her husband, Shameless star William H. Macy

In the interview, Felicity was particularly keen to clarify people’s perceptions about what led her into the scandal. She implored that it was not the case that she was “looking for a way to cheat the system”.

“I worked with a highly recommended college counselor named Rick Singer. I worked with him for a year and trusted him implicitly. And he recommended programs and tutors and he was the expert.” 

WATCH: Felicity Huffman breaks silence on college admissions scandal

When the counselor said he didn’t think her daughter was going to get into any of the colleges she wanted to, she “believed him”. She outlined that Singer had “slowly started to present the criminal scheme”, which she felt was “the only option to give my daughter a future”.

The scheme in question led her to paying $15,000 for someone to falsify her daughter Sophia’s SAT results. Reflecting on the decisions six years on, the actress explained that “hindsight is 20/20 but it felt like I would be a bad mother if I didn't do it. So, I did it.”

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on March 12, 2019 shows US actress Felicity Huffman(L) attending the Showtime Emmy Eve Nominees Celebration in Los Angeles on September 16, 2018 and actress Lori Loughlin arriving at the People's Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, on January 18, 2017. Two Hollywood actresses including Oscar-nominated "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman are among 50 people indicted in a nationwide university admissions scam, court records unsealed in Boston on March 12, 2019 showed. The accused, who also include chief executives, allegedly cheated to get their children into elite schools, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said.Huffman, 56, and Lori Loughlin, 54, who starred in "Full House," are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. (Photo by LISA O'CONNOR and Tommaso Boddi / AFP) (Photo by LISA O'CONNOR,TOMMASO BODDI/AFP via Getty Images)© LISA O'CONNOR
Felicity was not the only person of note implicated in the scandal

The actress explained that she did not tell her daughter about her plans, and recalled having second thoughts at the time about what she had done as she drove her daughter to the SAT exam.

“I kept thinking, 'Turn around, just turn around,'”, she explained. "To my undying shame, I didn't."

Actress Felicity Huffman is escorted by Police into court where she is expected to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud before Judge Talwani at John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, May 13, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)© JOSEPH PREZIOSO
The Desperate Housewives star claimed she felt like she would be a bad mother if she didn't do it.

Felicity explained how the FBI “came into my home” and “woke my daughters up at gunpoint” to arrest her. She wasn’t dressed and explained that she thought it was a “hoax”.

The 60-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and was sentenced to serve 14 days in prison, as well as pay a $30,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service. She also had one year supervised release for her part in the nationwide scandal. 

She was not the only celebrity implicated in the scandal, which saw Full House star Lori Loughlin charged as well as over 30 other parents. However, her husband was not charged, and Sophia would go on to retake the SAT after which she was accepted into Carnegie Mellon University’s theater program, where she is still studying.

Rick Singer was sentenced to three and a half years in prison as the mastermind behind the scheme, and earlier this year he was asked to forfeit $10 million.