“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman addressed her involvement in William “Rick” Singer’s notorious 2019 college admissions scam for the first time Friday, saying that it seemed like “my only option.”
“I felt like I would be a bad mother if I didn’t do it,” the Oscar nominee told ABC in her first sit-down interview since the scandal, which saw her paying at $15,000 bribe to have an SAT exam proctor correct her daughter’s answers.
Huffman was among the 33 parents accused of partaking in Singer’s scandal, which involved falsifying prospective undergrads’ sports records and helping them cheat on SAT and ACT college placement exams to put them in the running for elite college programs they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
Huffman pleaded guilty to mail fraud related to falsifying her daughter’s SAT score. She paid a $30,000 fine and served 11 days in prison.
“When he slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seemed like … that was my only option to give my daughter a future,” Huffman said of her interactions with Singer. “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.”
Huffman added: “It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future … which meant I had to break the law.”
"It was sort of like my daughter's future, which meant I had to break the law."— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 1, 2023
Felicity Huffman addresses college admissions cheating scandal for the first time in an interview with @ABC7's Marc Brown. @KaynaWhitworth has the story. pic.twitter.com/2GSfqinGjh
“Full House” star Lori Loughlin was also a guilty party in the scandal.
“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,” Huffman said. “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.”
On the day of her daughter’s SAT exam in 2017, Huffman said she had second thoughts.
“I kept thinking, ‘Turn around, just turn around,’” she said. “To my undying shame, I didn’t.”
Watch the interview in the video above.