Actress Felicity Huffman is firmly cemented in her belief that college is everything even after serving 11 days in jail for her part in the Varsity Blues admissions scandal.
She gave her first interview to ABC News after getting out of jail for proffering a $15,000 bribe to college officials, via admissions scandal ringleader Rick Singer, to doctor her daughter’s SAT scores. She claimed she felt she had no choice at the time but to break the law to secure her child’s future. Singer had convinced her that her daughter would never get into the schools she wanted to attend unless the scores were fudged.
“After a year, he started to say your daughter is not going to get into any of the colleges that she wants to. And I believed him. And so when he slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seems like – and I know this seems crazy at the time – but that was my only option to give my daughter a future,” Huffman contended.
“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 admitted.
(Video Credit: ABC7)
Singer paid off a number of SAT test supervisors to inflate students’ scores once they had completed the exam according to the Daily Mail.
On the day of the SAT test, Huffman said her daughter was nervous and asked if they could get ice cream after she took the exam.
“She was going, ‘Can we get ice cream afterwards?'” the mother recalled. “I’m scared about the test. What can we do that’s fun? And I kept thinking, turn around, just turn around. And to my undying shame, I didn’t.”
The FBI arrested Huffman and she wound up being found guilty of fraud in the bribery scheme dubbed Operation Varsity Blues in 2019 that involved 33 affluent parents. Not only did she serve 11 days behind bars, she had to pay $30,000 in fines.
She told ABC News that she thought it was a “joke” when the FBI came calling at her mansion. It wasn’t.
“They came into my home, they woke my daughters up at gunpoint – again, nothing new to the black and brown community – then they put my hands behind my back and handcuffed me,” she recounted bringing racial politics into the mix for some reason.
Felicity Huffman says FBI raided her house after college admissions scandal:
“They came into my home. They woke my daughters up at gunpoint. Again, nothing new to the Black and brown community. Then they put my hands behind my back and handcuffed me and I asked if I could get… pic.twitter.com/EeSh4Azjyn
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) December 1, 2023
“I asked if I could get dressed. I thought it was a hoax. I literally turned to one of the FBI people in a flak jacket and a gun and I go, ‘Is this a joke?'” Huffman said.
The actress says she now regrets being part of the scheme.
Her daughter, Sophia, has a learning disability and she ponied up the money out of desperation to get her into a good school. Huffman’s daughter is now studying drama at Carnegie Mellon in New York. The girl had no idea her mother was involved in the scandal.
“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,” she asserted.
Felicity Huffman reflects on college admission scandal:
“It was sort of like my daughter’s future, which meant I had to break the law. 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.” pic.twitter.com/FLCYn4wmAf
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) December 1, 2023
“I think I feel the people I owe a debt and an apology to is the academic community and to the students and the families that sacrifice and work really hard to get to where they are going legitimately,” Huffman stated.
The actress is now promoting “A New Way of Life,” which is an organization that helps formerly incarcerated women reintegrate into society.
“I want to use my experience and what I’ve gone through and the pain to bring something good,” she claimed during the interview.
Huffman was not alone in being found guilty. Actress Lori Loughlin also served time for paying for both of her daughters to get accepted into USC.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giuliani had their daughters pose as sports stars to falsify applications that presented them as athletes.
Singer, who was the mastermind behind the scheme, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in January.
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