It’s been almost five years since the notorious college admissions scandal, and Felicity Huffman is breaking her silence on the profound impact it has had on her life. In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, the 61-year-old actress provides an intimate glimpse into her post-scandal world, revealing how she navigates through a changed reality.
“How I am is kind of a loaded question. As long as my kids are well and my husband is well, I feel like I’m well,” shares Huffman. “I’m grateful to be here. But how am I? I guess I’m still processing.”
Married to fellow actor William H. Macy, with two daughters, Sophia Grace Macy and Georgia Grace Macy, Huffman’s life took a dramatic turn in September 2019 when she was sentenced to two weeks in prison for her involvement in the college admissions scandal. Pleading guilty to charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, Huffman faced legal consequences to secure a college spot for her eldest daughter.
Completing her sentence in October 2020, Huffman admits that her professional life has faced challenges, stating, “I did a pilot for ABC recently that didn’t get picked up. It’s been hard. Sort of like your old life died and you died with it. I’m lucky enough to have a family and love and means, so I had a place to land.”
Reflecting on the scandal, Huffman emphasizes the significant impact it had on her career. Despite a brief stint on ABC’s The Good Lawyer, she acknowledges the difficulty in securing substantial acting opportunities post-scandal.
The college admissions scandal, famously known as “Operation Varsity Blues,” implicated Huffman and several other high-profile individuals. Charged with bribery and fraud, Huffman, along with Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty to their charges.
Addressing her involvement in the scandal last year, Huffman revealed her actions were not driven by a desire to cheat the system but rather by misplaced trust in college counselor William “Rick” Singer. Huffman explained that she believed participating in Singer’s scheme was her only option to secure a future for her daughter.
“People assume that I went into this looking for a way to cheat the system and making proverbial criminal deals in back alleys, but that was not the case,” Huffman clarified. “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.”
Despite moments of doubt and shame, Huffman recounts driving her daughter, Sophia, to the falsified SAT exam. In hindsight, she acknowledges the moral dilemma but emphasizes the complex emotions that led to her choices.
In her journey toward redemption, Huffman expresses remorse, particularly towards the academic community, students, and families who legitimately strive for success. As she continues to process the aftermath of the scandal, Felicity Huffman’s story stands as a testament to the complexities of choices, consequences, and the pursuit of redemption in the face of a public reckoning.