Actress Felicity Huffman issued a remorseful statement after agreeing to plead guilty in the college cheating scam that stunned the nation, saying she “betrayed” her daughter.
“My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her,” she wrote in the statement obtained by People. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life.”
Huffman admitted her guilt and said she felt “deep regret and shame” over her actions. Prosecutors have accused the actress, who rose to fame on the television show “Desperate Housewives,” of paying $15,000 to have a proctor correct her oldest daughter’s SAT scores in an effort to make her a more desirable college applicant.
Huffman, who agreed to plead guilty on Monday along with 13 other people, said she took “full responsibility” for her actions and would accept whatever consequences come from it.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” she said. “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.”
Federal prosecutors have charged 50 people in the college admissions scam, which relied on bribery and fraud to help wealthy parents secure admission for their children at some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges. The deception was orchestrated by William Singer, a college admissions specialist who specialized in boosting students’ chances of getting into universities through various forms of fraud, The New York Times reports.
Singer, who has pleaded guilty to racketeering, bribed test administrators to cheat, arranged for a proxy to take college entrance exams in the place of an actual student and even bribed college coaches to designate students as recruits for college athletic teams even if they lacked the talent and experience to be part of the team.
On Monday, 14 people including 13 parents and one coach announced their intention to plead guilty to the charges against them. Prosecutors said Huffman and most of the other parents included in the announcement would plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
The charge could carry a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars, but it’s not yet clear yet whether Huffman and the others will have to spend any jail time as part of their pleas.
Fellow actress Lori Loughlin, who stands accused along with her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli of paying $500,000 to have her daughters designated as recruits for the USC crew team despite no prior crew experience, was not among them.
Loughlin has reportedly been offered a plea deal in the case that would come with a two-year minimum sentence in prison, TMZ reports, but no official deals have been announced.
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