May 24, 2024

Felicity Huffman is speaking out for the first time about her role in the high-profile college admissions scandal Operation Varsity Blues which, after being revealed to the public in 2019, resulted in her serving 11 days in prison.

Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest service mail fraud, as a result of working with college-admission consultant Rick Singer to falsify her daughter’s SAT scores. Singer had created a system of bribery and fraud in order to help wealthy parents get a leg up on their kids’ college admissions chances. Singer was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison as a result of his actions. Actress Lori Loughlin was another Hollywood star who was also arrested and sentenced to two months in prison as a result of her participation.

“It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future,” Huffman said in an interview with ABC7. “And so it was sort of like my daughter’s future, which meant I had to break the law.”

Huffman said Singer’s name came to her highly recommended and it was a slow process for her to realize his plans involved any illegal activity.

“After a year, he started to say, ‘Your daughter is not going to get into any of the colleges that she wants to,’” Huffman said. “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. 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.”

Once the FBI investigated the operation, they brought federal charges against 33 parents who participated in the plot, including Huffman.

“They came into my home,” she said. “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 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 went, ‘Is this a joke?’”

Watch Huffman’s interview below.

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