Sunday 18 August 2019

'Desperate Housewives' star Felicity Huffman says she is 'ashamed' and 'betrayed' her teenage daughter in college admissions scam

Charged: ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Felicity Huffman has been charged with making a $15,000 payment to have her daughter’s SAT secretly corrected. Photo: Reuters
Charged: ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Felicity Huffman has been charged with making a $15,000 payment to have her daughter’s SAT secretly corrected. Photo: Reuters

Associated Press Reporters

US actress Felicity Huffman has said she has "betrayed" her daughter and is "ashamed" of her actions in the US college admissions scandal.

A statement from the 'Desperate Housewives' star was issued on Monday just hours after court documents showed she intended on pleading guilty to participating in what prosecutors call the largest college admissions scam uncovered in US history.

Actress Felicity Huffman faces a prison sentence if convicted. Picture: Reuters
Actress Felicity Huffman faces a prison sentence if convicted. Picture: Reuters
Actor Felicity Huffman, facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, enters federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 3, 2019

Ms Huffman said her teenage daughter had no idea of her mother's actions of securing her a place in one of the country's top universities.

Huffman, who is married to the actor William H. Macy, in a statement on Monday said she was "ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.

"My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her," the former best actress Oscar nominee said.

Her statement marked the first time the actress has talked about the scandal.

Brush with the law: Actress Felicity Huffman at a Los Angeles courthouse after she was charged. Photo: Getty Images
Brush with the law: Actress Felicity Huffman at a Los Angeles courthouse after she was charged. Photo: Getty Images
Lori Loughlin with husband Mossimo Giannulli (Steven Senne/AP)

Ms Huffman is among 14 parents who intend on pleading guilty to the charges.

The 14 are among 50 people, including wealthy parents and college team coaches, accused by federal prosecutors in Boston of engaging in schemes that involved cheating on college entrance exams and paying $25 million in bribes to secure their children admission at well-known universities.

Huffman, who starred in "Desperate Housewives," was among 33 parents charged in March with participating in the scheme in hopes of getting their children into universities including Yale, Georgetown and the University of Southern California.

Prosecutors, as part of a plea deal, agreed to recommend a prison term at the "low end" of the four to 10 months Huffman faces under federal sentencing guidelines. She also agreed to pay a $20,000 fine and restitution.

William H Macy and Felicity Huffman at the Academy Awards (Ian West/PA)
William H Macy and Felicity Huffman at the Academy Awards (Ian West/PA)
Felicity Huffman – who has been charged – and her husband William H Macy. Photo: REUTERS

Authorities say the scheme was overseen by California college admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer, who has pleaded guilty to facilitating the cheating scam and bribing coaches to present the parents' children as fake athletic recruits.

Prosecutors said Huffman, 56, made a $15,000 contribution to Singer's foundation in exchange for having an associate of Singer's in 2017 secretly correct her daughter's answers on an SAT college entrance exam at a test center Singer controlled.

Twelve other parents have agreed to plead guilty, including California marketing executive Jane Buckingham and Agustin Huneeus, who owned a California wine company.

Two of the parents, including Gordon Caplan, the former co-chairman of the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, last week themselves disclosed they had reached plea deals.

Two parents who agreed to plead guilty, Bruce Isackson, president of a California real estate development firm, and his wife, Davina Isackson, have also agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.

Additionally, Michael Center, the former head coach of men's tennis at the University of Texas at Austin, has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge related to bribes he accepted to designate a child as a recruit

'Full House' actress Lori Loughlin and Loughlin's fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are also charged in the scam.

They are not among those who have agreed to plead guilty and have not publicly addressed the allegations.

Read more here: Hollywood stars told not to talk to their children about college admissions case

Hollywood stars Huffman and Loughlin appear in court in college scam case

Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman arrives in court to face charges tied to college admissions scam

Ex-coaches among 12 to plead not guilty in US college admission scandal 

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