The Oscar-nominated actress says the nearly five years since her arrest in connection with a nationwide cheating scandal have felt "sort of like your old life died and you died with it"
As she gears up to take the stage for a revival of Taylor Mac's comedy Hir, the 61-year-old Desperate Housewives alum is aware audience members will have her headline-making scandal top of mind upon seeing her. "I walk into the room with it. I did it. It's black and white," she told The Guardian.
"I'm grateful to be here," she also said. "But how am I? I guess I'm still processing."
Huffman was arrested in March 2019 for her connection with a nationwide cheating scandal. At the time, she was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud but was released on $250,000 bail.
That May, she pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to fix her daughter's incorrect SAT answers. She then served 11 days in prison, paid a $30,000 fine and completed 250 hours of community service. (Lori Loughlin and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli also served time for their involvement in the scandal.)
Aside from an appearance on The Good Doctor and voice work on Supreme: The Battle for Roe, Huffman — who shares daughters Georgia, 21, and Sofia, 23, with husband William H. Macy — hasn't really worked since the scandal emerged.
"I did a pilot for ABC recently that didn't get picked up. It's been hard," she explained. "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."
But for Huffman, "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."
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"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," she said in December 2023.
"I worked with a highly recommended college counselor named Rick Singer. I worked with him for a year and trusted him implicitly; he recommended programs and tutors and he was the expert," she 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."
Huffman added, "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."
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