Just over a month after Felicity Huffman agreed to plead guilty to charges of fraud for her role in the nationwide college admissions scandal, the veteran actress officially entered her plea on Monday, May 13.
Wearing a dark coat and a pleated dress, the former Desperate Housewives star did so inside of a courtroom in Boston, multiple outlets have confirmed.
In response to Huffman’s plea, prosecutors have recommended a four-month jail sentence.
But, on a later date, a judge will have final say over the star’s exact punishment.
Huffman has admitted to paying $15,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation.
A federal indictment has alleged that this so-called charity was really just a front for accepting bribes, however.
Singer then facilitated cheating on Huffman’s oldest daughter’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers after the fact.
Over two dozen wealthy individuals were snared in this operation, with Huffman and fellow Lori Loughlin the most well-known among them.
While addressing Judge Indira Talwani on Monday, Huffman broke down in tears explaining that her daughter really had been seeing a neuropsychologist since the age of eight and had been receiving extra time on exams since she was 11.
She told the judge that neither her daughter nor the neuropsychologist had any knowledge of the bribery scheme.
At one point, witnesses inside the courtroom confirm, Huffman grew so emotional about her error in judgment that she needed a minute to compose herself.
Huffman broke her silence on the scandal on April 8, announcing that she planned to plead guilty and accepting full responsiblity for her actions.
“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,” she said in a statement.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.
“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.”
She then turned her attention to Sophia, the 18-year old daughter for whom Huffman paid to have test scores altered:
“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.”
The ex-American Crime star and husband William H. Macy, who got married in 1997, are also parents of 17-year-old daughter Georgia.
While Huffman allegedly “made arrangements to pursue the scheme for a second time” for her younger daughter, she ultimately opted “not to do so,” per legal documents.
Under her plea deal, Huffman is prohibited from running for office, owning a firearm and ammunition, and faces other restrictions.
She will return to court for her sentencing on September 13.
Loughlin, meanwhile, has taken the opposite approach from Huffman.
She has not pleaded guilty and plans on fighting all fraud and bribery charges against her, despite these accusations being extreme in nature.
The former Full House cast member is accused of shelling out $500,000 as part of an elaborate scheme to pretend that her two daughters were on their high school rowing team.
In exchange, Singer arranged for an official at the University of California to place the young women on the school’s athletic recruitment list — thereby lowering their admission standards.
Both teenagers were subsequently accepted to this college.
After the actress and husband Mossimo Giannulli, rejected a plea deal in April, they were hit with additional charges of money laundering conspiracy