Felicity Huffman on Monday announced that she intends to plead guilty to the charge brought forth in a massive nationwide college admissions scandal.
“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, the actress said in a statement. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.”
She continued, “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. My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. 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.”
The actress, along with 49 others, was arrested March 12 after federal prosecutors in Boston unsealed a criminal complaint charging all with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for allegedly cheating the collegiate system in order for their children to be admitted into upper-echelon universities.
Fellow actress Lori Loughlin was among the more than 30 parents and nine coaches charged in what authorities dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. Fourteen defendants in total — but not Loughlin — announced their plan Monday to enter a guilty plea, according to authorities.
Huffman was accused of disguising a $15,000 charitable payment in the bribery scheme for someone to take her oldest daughter’s SAT exam. The mastermind behind the scheme was William “Rick” Singer, of Newport Beach, California, founder of a college prep business, who already pleaded guilty to a number of felonies related to the case.
The charging papers refer to Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, as “spouse.” He was not indicted. He did appear with his wife at her initial court appearance, but was absent when she appeared last week. Huffman is out on $250,000 bond.
Andrew Lelling with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, previously said authorities did not believe any college was a “co-conspirator” in the scam. And, so far, no students were being charged. Universities, such as the University of Southern California, have already fired staff and coaches accused of being involved in the scheme.
Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000, through Singer’s shady operation, in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC’s crew team — even though the two never participated in the sport — thereby guaranteeing their admission in the college, according to documents. The couple faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Both are out on separate $1 million bonds.