On Thursday, November 30, the Desperate Housewives star, 60, spoke out in an interview for the first time since she, along with dozens of other rich parents of high school students — including Lori Loughlin — were convicted of a criminal conspiracy to bribe and cheat their children into college acceptances from Ivy League and prestigious universities such as Yale, the University of Southern California and Georgetown.
"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 declared in her interview with ABC7 Eyewitness News.
"I worked with a highly recommended college counselor named Rick Singer," she admitted of the convicted mastermind of the scandal — whom Huffman paid $15,000 to in order to have the results of her daughter Sophia's SAT exam falsified. "I worked with him for a year and trusted him implicitly; he recommended programs and tutors and he was the expert."
The Oscar-nominated actress continued: "And after a year, he started to say, 'Your daughter is not going to get into any of the colleges that she wants to.' And so, I believed him."
"When he slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seemed like — and I know this seems crazy at the time — that that was my only option to give my daughter a future. 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," Huffman explained of the illegal actions that caused her to be sentenced to 14 days in prison, 11 of which she served in 2019 before completing the rest in 2020 after a year of supervised release.
"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 confessed of why she involved herself in the scandal.
Huffman was charged alongside Singer, Loughlin and other parents upon completion of the government's criminal investigation called "Operation Varsity Blues."
Never miss a story — sign up for the OK! newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what OK! has to offer. It’s gossip too good to wait for!
"She was going, 'Can we get ice cream afterwards? I'm scared about the test. What can we do that's fun?’ And I kept thinking, 'Turn around, just turn around,'" Huffman detailed.
"To my undying shame, I didn't," she concluded.