Felicity Huffman Feels Her 'Old Life Died' After College Admissions Scandal

The 61-year-old actor reveals she's barely worked since the infamous college admissions scandal.

It's been nearly five years since the college admissions scandal first broke, and now Felicity Huffman is shedding light on how her life has changed since then. 

In an interview with The Guardian published on Tuesday, the 61-year-old actress gave an update on how she's doing, saying, "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."

"I'm grateful to be here," she adds. "But how am I? I guess I'm still processing."

Huffman is married to fellow actor William H. Macy, 73, and they have two daughters together, Sophia Grace Macy, 23, and Georgia Grace Macy, 21. In September 2019, Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison for her role in the college admissions scandal after pleading guilty to charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud to help her eldest daughter secure a place at college. A judge also ordered her to pay a $30,000 fine, complete 250 hours of community and serve one year of supervised release. She completed her sentence in October 2020. 

Despite a brief acting stint on ABC's The Good Lawyer, Huffman says she's barely worked since the scandal, which was dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues."

"I did a pilot for ABC recently that didn't get picked up. It's been hard," she notes. "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."

Huffman was one of the 40 people who was charged in the college admissions bribery scam, which exposed a criminal conspiracy where affluent parents resorted to bribery, cheating, and other fraudulent means to secure spots for their children at prestigious universities such as Yale, USC and Georgetown. Among them were also Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli. They all pleaded guilty to their charges, however, Macy was never charged in connection to the case.

At the end of last year, Huffman publicly addressed her involvement in the college admissions scandal for the first time ever in an interview with ABC-7 Eyewitness News. She explained that her actions were not driven by an attempt to cheat the system but rather by trust in a highly recommended college counselor, William "Rick" Singer. The actress said she worked with Singer for a year and trusted his judgment for her daughter's college applications. However, as he presented the criminal scheme, Huffman felt compelled to participate for the sake of her daughter's future.

"After a year, he started to say your daughter is not going to get into any of the colleges that she wants to," Huffman said at the time.

"And I believed him. And so when he slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seems like - and I know this seems crazy at the time - but that was my only option to give my daughter a future," she explained. "And I know hindsight is 20/20 but it felt like I would be a bad mother if I didn't do it. So - I did it."

She added: "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. 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."

Huffman also recalled moments of doubt as she drove her daughter, Sophia, to the falsified SAT exam. Sophia was unaware of the scheme. 

"She was going, 'Can we get ice cream afterwards?'" Huffman recalled. "I'm scared about the test. What can we do that's fun? And I kept thinking, turn around, just turn around. And to my undying shame, I didn't."

In October 2020, Huffman completed 11 days of her 14-day prison sentence. Meanwhile, her daughter, Sophia, retook the SATs and enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University's theater program.

"I think the people I owe a debt and apology to is the academic community," Huffman noted. "And to the students and the families that sacrifice and work really hard to get to where they are going legitimately."