Felicity Huffman Says She 'Betrayed' Daughter for Arranging to Cheat on Her SATs
Felicity Huffman issued a contrite statement after her revealing her guilty plea in the college admissions cheating scandal
“I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office,” the 56-year-old wrote in the statement, obtained by PEOPLE. “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.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” she continues. “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.
Huffman then emphasized that her plan to cheat on the SATs for her daughter was concocted without her daughter’s knowledge.
“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.”
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In a statement released on Monday afternoon, the Department of Justice said that the Desperate Housewives star is one of 14 defendants who have opted to plead guilty.
This comes five days after Huffman appeared alongside other wealthy parents — including actress Lori Loughlin — in U.S. District Court in Boston for the first time since they were accused, in March, of allegedly taking part in a $25 million scheme to get their children into top colleges.
During their preliminary hearings, they were read the federal felony charges they face after their arrests in March: conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Dates for formal pleas have not been set.
On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that it had charged 50 people, including Huffman and Loughlin, in the cheating scandal. The two actresses, along with coaches, admissions counselors, parents, and Laughlin’s husband, fashion designer J. Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted on charges of falsifying SAT scores and lying about their athletic skills, among other alleged crimes.
Prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint that Huffman paid $15,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes. Singer then allegedly facilitated cheating on Huffman’s daughter’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers after the fact.
Huffman discussed the scheme in a phone call with Singer that was recorded by investigators.
Monday’s Department of Justice statement does not give any information what sentence Huffman or any of the other defendants might face.