Three years after she served 11 days in jail for her involvement in the 2019 college-admissions scandal, actor Felicity Huffman has offered more insight into how she ended up paying a consultant $15,000 to falsify her daughter’s SAT scores.
Huffman sat down with Los Angeles’s ABC affiliate in an interview released on Friday to address Operation Varsity Blues, the FBI investigation that led to dozens of wealthy parents being convicted for helping their kids cheat their way into college. This is the first time she’s spoken publicly about the scandal. In April 2019, after pleading guilty to fraud charges, Huffman wrote in a letter to the judge presiding over her case that she “didn’t want [her] daughter to be prevented from doing what she loves because she can’t do math.” She expressed a similar sentiment in the new interview.
“I felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future,” she said of her participation in the scheme, “which meant I had to break the law.” She added that admissions consultant Rick Singer, who orchestrated the cheating conspiracy, told her that her daughter wouldn’t get into the colleges she wanted unless he helped and persuaded her to pay $15,000 to inflate her teenager’s test scores. “I know hindsight is 20/20, but it felt like I would be a bad mother if I didn’t do it,” she said.
Huffman also used the interview to promote a nonprofit that supports formerly incarcerated women, where she volunteered as part of her court-ordered community service after serving out her sentence. Meanwhile, she shared that her daughter is finally doing what she loves, though no thanks to Singer: studying drama at Carnegie Mellon after retaking the SATs ethically. All’s well that ends well, I guess?