Felicity Huffman Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Scandal: 'I Am Ashamed of the Pain I Have Caused'
Felicity Huffman, along with 12 other parents and one university athletic coach involved in the massive college admissions cheating scandal, pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud on Monday.
"I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney's Office," Huffman said in a statement. "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," the statement continued. "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."
In this case, the US Attorney is recommending incarceration at the low end of the sentencing guidelines, a fine or other financial penalty of ,000 and 12 months supervised release for the 13 individuals pleading guilty.
Additionally, the US Attorney is recommending a mandatory special assessment of 0, restitution in an amount to be determined by the court at sentencing and forfeiture (the defendant waives and releases any claims the defendant may have to any vehicles, currency, or other personal property seized by the federal government, or seized by any state or local law enforcement agency and turned over to the US, during the investigation and prosecution of the case and consents to forfeiture of all such assets). It's important to note that Huffman isn't facing this sentence, it's simply a recommendation.
As ET previously reported, Huffman allegedly paid ,000 to help get her and husband William H. Macy's eldest daughter, 18-year-old Sofia, into an elite college by cheating on the SAT.
"Things have been very difficult for Felicity," a source told ET. "This has been one of the most trying times in her life. Felicity has denied any wrongdoing to some of her friends and just is desperate to stay out of the public eye."
Huffman's husband has not been charged in the scandal, but an additional source told ET that the situation has put "a tremendous amount of pressure" on them, and their marriage. The two have been married since 1997, and also share a 16-year-old daughter, Georgia.
"This situation has been very trying on Felicity and William's marriage. They love each other but they've been arguing a lot," the source said. "Their close friends were stunned by the news because they've always seemed like honest, good people, people who would never lie and cheat to get what they wanted. They almost seemed to pride themselves on their honesty."
Since the scandal, the couple's past comments have resurfaced and have come under more scrutiny. Back in 2004, Macy actually spoke to ET about giving his daughters a "leg up" in Hollywood at a junket for his film, Cellular.
"One can help your children in this business, and the nepotism works, and I have no problems with it," he said of potentially helping his daughters to succeed in the business if they ended up choosing that career path. "If I can give them a leg up, I absolutely would. It's a great way to make a living. It really is."
Hear more on the scandal, which also involves actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, in the video below.