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Red State
Red State
2 Dec 2023
Becca Lower


NextImg:Actress Felicity Huffman Shows She Has Learned No Lessons From College Admissions Scandal

You might remember that back in 2019, actress Felicity Huffman was found guilty of trying to buy her daughter's way into an elite university. To refresh the memory of anyone who missed it, here's what our sister site PJ Media wrote on the massive college admissions scandal:

Felicity Huffman was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in jail, a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service, and one year [of] supervised release for her role in the college admission scandal that rocked Hollywood.[...]

Huffman is one of 51 defendants charged in the nationwide bribery debacle that saw the elite and wealthy, including Lori Loughlin, cheat to get their children into top colleges and universities like USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Yale. More sentencing is coming soon for the parents involved, fifteen of whom have pleaded guilty, and 19 of whom are fighting the charges.

What did Huffman do, exactly? The actress, best known for her role on "Desperate Housewives," pleaded guilty

to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. She confessed to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to have a proctor correct her older daughter's answers on the SAT.

While Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in jail, she got released three days early, serving 11 days.

Now in a new interview with KABC, in which she talks about the scandal for the first time, Huffman has apologized:

I think the people I owe a debt and 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.

But another part of what she said shows that she has learned no lessons from her misdeeds. In fact, she takes no responsibility for what happened. The blame, she said, falls solely on college admission consultant Rick Singer, who hatched the scheme and was sentenced in January 2023 "to three-and-a-half years in prison plus ordered to forfeit $10 million." Huffman said:

People assume that I went into this looking for a way to cheat the system and making proverbial criminal deals in back alleys, but that was not the case. I worked with a highly recommended college counselor named Rick Singer.

I worked with him for a year and trusted him implicitly. And he recommended programs and tutors, and he was the expert. And after a year, he started to say, ‘Your daughter is not going to get into any of the colleges that she wants to.’ And so, I believed him.

She said she felt that her "only option" to keep up the appearance that she's a good mother was to go along:

When he slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seemed like — and I know this seems crazy at the time — that that was my only option to give my daughter a future. 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. 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.

But she told on herself in another anecdote she related, about the warning bells going off from her conscience on the day of the SAT:

Huffman recalls having second thoughts and anxiety about her actions as she drove her daughter to take the test that day.

"She was going, 'Can we get ice cream afterwards?'" Huffman recalls. "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."

Do you buy that? I don't for one second. The only thing Huffman is ashamed of is that she got caught. What kind of role model can someone be for their children, if they are willing to cheat to gain something that belongs to someone else? A responsible adult would heed the warning bells and admit she made a mistake--even if it meant losing money or feeling short-term embarrassment over trusting a scam artist. Those are both better outcomes than doing what she did--breaking the law because, like many in Hollywood, they believe their social status will protect them from the consequences of their actions. There are few lies sadder than that one.

In an ironic twist, when Huffman's daughter took the SAT again later, she did well enough to get accepted at a school on her own merit.