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Ruh-ro!: Felicity Huffman and 13 others plead guilty in crazy college admissions scandal

Illustration for article titled Ruh-ro!: Felicity Huffman and 13 others plead guilty in crazy college admissions scandal
Photo: Paul Marotta (Getty Images)

Schadenfreude swept the country last month when a score of ultra-rich parents got sent to the principal’s office for participating in an elite college entrance-exam cheating scheme that juked SAT scores and fabricated athletic backgrounds for their kids. Today, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that 14 people, including Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman, will plead guilty.


Huffman, in particular, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, as she’s said to have paid $15,000 to the scheme’s mastermind, William Singer, via a sham “donation” to his charity, Key Worldwide Foundation. Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, was not charged, though charging documents reveal that he “agreed to the plan.”

“According to the complaint, Huffman arranged to have her daughter take the SAT at the West Hollywood Test Center, which Singer controlled,” Variety reports. “Huffman also was able to obtain extra time for her daughter to take the test. Singer admitted to hiring a proctor to correct answers on students’ exams. Huffman’s daughter got a 1420 on the test, a 400 point improvement on her PSAT result.”

Huffman released a statement in conjunction with her guilty plea. “I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office,” she said. “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.”

She continued, “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. 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.”

Actress Lori Loughlin, another celebrity swept up in the scandal, has yet to issue a plea in the case. She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are facing felony charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud after they allegedly paid $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California. Their influencer daughter, Olivia Jade, who seemed more annoyed by the prospect of going to school than anything, has since been dropped by brands like Sephora, TRESemmé, and Estée Lauder. Per a new report from People, she “would have never gone along with it if she thought this would happen.” It’s okay, though, because she’s very focused on trying to “rebuild her brand,” which, from what we can gather, involves posing next to free things people send her.  

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.