Felicity Huffman, the actress best known for her role as Lynette Scavo on the hit TV show Desperate Housewives, has finally broken her silence about her involvement in the 2019 college admissions scandal that rocked the nation.
In an exclusive interview with ABC-7 Eyewitness News on Thursday, November 30, Felicity Huffman revealed the motivation behind her decision to pay $15,000 to have her daughter Sophia Macy’s SAT scores boosted by a fraudulent scheme orchestrated by William “Rick” Singer, the so-called “mastermind” of the scandal.
Felicity Huffman said that she felt pressured by Singer, who had been working with her family for a year, to give her daughter a chance at a future. Singer convinced Huffman that Sophia, who was unaware of her mother’s plan, would not get into any of the colleges that she wanted to attend.
“It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future,” Huffman said. “And so it was sort of like my daughter’s future, which meant I had to break the law.”
Felicity Huffman admitted that she had doubts about her actions, especially on the morning of Sophia’s SAT. She recalled how her daughter was excited and nervous about the test, and asked her if they could get ice cream afterwards.
“She was going, ‘Can we get ice cream afterwards? I’m scared about the test. What can we do that’s fun?’ And I kept thinking, ‘Turn around, just turn around,’” Huffman said. “And to my undying shame, I didn’t.”
Huffman’s scheme was exposed in March 2019, when she was arrested at gunpoint by the FBI at her home in Los Angeles. Huffman said that she thought it was a hoax, and asked one of the agents if it was a joke.
Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May 2019, and apologized for her actions. She was sentenced to 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service, and one year of supervised release. She served 11 days in prison in October 2019, and completed her full sentence in October 2020.
Felicity Huffman: “I owe an apology to the academic community”
Felicity Huffman said that she regrets hurting her daughter, who retook her SAT and got accepted into Carnegie Mellon University in April 2020. She also said that she owes an apology to the academic community, and to the students and families who work hard to achieve their goals legitimately.
“I think the people I owe a debt and apology to is the academic community,” Huffman said. “And to the students and the families that sacrifice and work really hard to get to where they are going legitimately.”
Felicity Huffman said that she has learned from her mistake, and hopes to use her experience to help others. She is currently working with A New Way of Life, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support for formerly incarcerated women.
Felicity Huffman said that she is grateful for the opportunity to give back, and to rebuild her life and career.
“I’m very lucky,” Huffman said. “I have a family that loves me, I have friends that support me, and I have a career that I can go back to.”