Felicity Huffman Pleads Guilty, Issuing First Public Statement Since the College Admissions Scandal Broke

Huffman’s daughter was not aware of the alleged fraud, she says.

Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin Arrive At Boston Court For College Cheating Case
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In the past month, actress Felicity Huffman has been accused of paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT scores boosted by several hundred points, one part of an admissions scandal that has blazed through American colleges; Huffman has been taken into FBI custody by seven agents who arrived at her home, reportedly with guns drawn (she was subsequently released on $250,000 bail); and she has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, a charge that carries a sentence of up to 20 years, according to The New York Times. But what she hasn’t done is make any statement about the alleged fraud—until now.

On Monday, the Desperate Housewives actress declared she planned to plead guilty to the charges, issuing a statement for the first time since the scandal broke in early March. “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” she said in the statement, according to Variety. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues, and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.” She also made clear that her daughter was unaware that Huffman had paid to have her scores elevated: “In my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” Huffman went on. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.” Huffman’s husband, William H. Macy, was not named in the charge.

Next, Huffman, as well as the 13 others who have been charged and are pleading guilty in the case, will have to attend a plea hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, according to reports. Lori Loughlin, who’s become the other unofficial face of the scandal (along with her beauty vlogger daughter, Olivia Jade), and her husband did not enter the same plea, according to the same New York Times story. They allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to ensure their two daughters would be admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, though neither girl rows.