In an interview speaking about the college admissions scandal that saw her convicted of fraud, Felicity Huffman suggested she felt she “had to break the law” to get her daughter into college.
Huffman, who was one of the high-profile figures involved in the $25 million bribery and fraud scheme dubbed the Operation Varsity Blues Scandal, served 11 days in prison and was ordered to do 250 hours of community service after she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. In an interview with KABC, she admitted she feels “undying shame” for her involvement in the scam but explained why she felt she needed to pay $15,000 for someone to falsify her daughter’s SAT results.
“It felt like I had to give my daughter a chance at a future,” she said. “And so it was sort of like my daughter’s future, which meant I had to break the law.”
Huffman said that she reached out to Operation Varsity Blues mastermind Rick Singer to falsify her daughter Sophia Grace Macy’s SAT scores in 2017. “After a year, he started to say your daughter is not going to get into any of the colleges that she wants to, and I believe him,” she said. “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. 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.”
The FBI investigated Singer’s operation and filed federal charges against 33 parents involved, including Huffman. “They came into my home. 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,” she shared. “I literally turned to one of the FBI people, in a flak jacket and a gun, and I went, ‘Is this a joke?’”
The interview, specifically the moments she compared her circumstances to Black and brown communities facing violence from authorities and an apparent dig at her daughter’s level of intelligence, has provoked some reactions on social media.