Felicity Huffman’s acting career came to a screeching halt when she was arrested in connection with the 2019 college admissions scandal.
“It’s been hard. Sort of like your old life died and you died with it,” Huffman, 61, told The Guardian in an interview published on Tuesday, February 6. “I’m lucky enough to have a family and love and means, so I had a place to land.”
Huffman was arrested at gunpoint by FBI agents in March 2019 for her involvement in the scandal, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, which exposed a far-reaching criminal conspiracy to buy college admissions at several top universities. The Desperate Housewives alum paid $15,000 to falsify the results of her daughter Sophia’s SAT scores, and was one of 50 people (which also included actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli) charged for crimes.
After her arrest, Huffman pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. She served 11 days in prison in October 2019, paid a $30,000 fine and completed 250 hours of community service for her crimes. Her husband, William H. Macy, with whom she shares daughters Sophia, now 23, and Georgia, now 21, was never charged in connection with the case.
While the Emmy-winning actress was cast in an ABC baseball comedy in November 2020, the show never got picked up, and she has had trouble finding work in Hollywood since her arrest. In a shift to theater across the pond, Huffman will make her U.K. stage debut this year in a revival of Taylor Mac’s Hir. She plays Paige, the radical mother of a transgender son.
“I’m grateful to be here,” Huffman told The Guardian of her new role. “But how am I? I guess I’m still processing.”
While she can’t avoid her past crimes, Huffman admits her gratitude for her family has helped her navigate life post-scandal. “I walk into the room with it. I did it. It’s black and white,” she said. “[But] as long as my kids are well and my husband is well, I feel like I’m well.”
Huffman previously broke her silence on the scandal in a November 2023 interview with ABC-7 Eyewitness News.
“I 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,” she told ABC. “I know hindsight is 20/20 but I felt like I would be a bad mother if I didn’t do it. So I did it.”