Felicity Huffman breaks silence on Varsity Blues scandal

Felicity Huffman finally speaks out about Varsity Blues admissions scandal after 11 day prison stunt for bribing her daughter’s way into college: ‘I had to break the law to give her a future’

  • Huffman spent 11 days in jail for paying someone to fudge Sophia’s SAT score
  • She says she felt there was no other option because she ‘wasn’t getting in’

Felicity Huffman has finally broken her silence on the Varsity Blues scandal that saw her spend 11 days in jail after bribing college officials $15,000 to fudge her daughter’s SAT scores, saying she felt she had ‘no option’ but to break the law.

Huffman paid $30,000 in fines and spent 11 days in jail after being charged with fraud in 2019. 

She had paid Rick Singer $15,000 to fudge her daughter Sophia’s SAT scores in order to land her a place at college and was among a group of wealthy, famous parents swept up in the scandal.

Actress Lori Loughlin was also jailed for paying for both her daughters to be accepted into USC. 

In her first public remarks outside of the courtroom, Huffman, 60, tells ABC that she thought it was ‘a joke’ when FBI agents turned up at her mansion to arrest her. 

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Felicity Huffman, in her first interview since the Varsity Blues scandal, said she felt she had no choice but to break the law to ‘give her daughter a future’ 

Huffman with daughters Georgia (far left) and Sophia (second from left) and husband William H. Macy at the 2019 Golden Globes. She was arrested months later for paying $15,000 to have someone fudge Sophia’s SAT score to get her into college 

Huffman spent 11 days at the Federal Correctional Institution of Dublin, California

‘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.

‘I asked if I could get dressed. I thought it was a hoax. I literally turned to one of the FBI people in a flak jacket and a gun and I go “is this a joke?”

Huffman said she regretted the scheme but felt she had no choice at the time because Sophia, who she previously said has a learning disability, would not have been accepted otherwise. 

Now, Sophia is studying drama at Carnegie Mellon in New York. 

‘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,’ she said. 

‘I think I feel the people I owe a debt and an 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.’ 

Huffman is speaking out now to highlight A New Way of Life, an organization that helps formerly incarcerated women reintegrate into society. 

‘I want to use my experience and what I’ve gone through and the pain to bring something good,’ she said. 

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giuannulli were also arrested and spent time in jail 

Huffman and husband William H. Macy hired Singer to help Sophia improve her scores in order to get into college. 

She claims the scheme was not obvious at first, but became plain when Singer told them Sophia would not be accepted into any schools without greasing the wheels. 

‘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 believed him. And 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.

‘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,’ she said. 

Sophia was unaware that her parents had paid for someone to alter her test answers after she completed the SATS. 

Lori Loughlin had her daughters pose on rowing machines as part of their fraudulent applications in which they claimed to be star athletes 

In this photo released by prosecutors Isabella Giannulli appears to be posing on an ERG machine 

The scheme involved Singer paying off a handful of discreet SAT test supervisors who would inflate students’ scores once they had completed the exam. 

On the day of the SAT test, she said Sophia was nervous and asking if they could go for ice cream afterwards. 

‘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,’ Huffman said. 

Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giuliani had their daughters masquerade as sports stars, propping them up on rowing machines to fudge applications that presented them as athletes.

Rick Singer, the mastermind, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in January of this year. 

Rick Singer, the mastermind of the scheme, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in January of this year. He is pictured in July last year while awaiting sentencing

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