Felicity Huffman is still haunted by her involvement in the 2019 college admissions scandal Varsity Blues. “I walk into the room with it,” she said in a recent interview. “I did it. It’s black-and-white.”

It’s been five years since she and fellow actress Lori Loughlin were arrested for cheating the system to get their kids into college. In 2019, Felicity served 11 days in jail for paying $15,000 to have her daughter Sophia’s SAT scores falsified; Lori spent two months in prison in 2020 after paying $500,000 in bribes to get her daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose into the University of Southern California.

Now, both Felicity, 61, and Lori, 59, are back at work — Lori in projects on the Great American Family network and Felicity hitting the London stage in the play Hir — but their comeback experiences have been dramatically different.

A Second Chance

Lori was promptly fired from Hallmark’s wholesome When Calls the Heart when news of the scandal broke. (Her character, Abigail Stanton, was written off halfway through season 6.) She was also terminated from Fuller House ahead of its fifth and final season. Yet her appeal as a family-friendly actress seemed untarnished by the scandal.

In December 2021 — less than one year after she served her time at a federal corrections institute in Dublin, California, after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud — she reprised her role as Abigail in a When Calls the Heart spinoff on the new Great American Family network. The network, where her Fuller House costar Candace Cameron Bure is the channel’s chief content officer, continued to hire Lori for movies like Fall Into Winter and A Christmas Blessing.

Not that Lori, whose husband, Mossimo Giannulli, is worth $70 million, needed the work. (The fashion mogul, 60, was released from prison in April 2021, just short of his five-month sentence for his role in the bribery scheme.)

“She and Mossimo already have enough to keep them living in style for many years,” an insider tells In Touch. “It was about doing something she loves.” Lori knows she caught a lucky break, but is still indignant about her time behind bars. “Her prison ordeal was horrendous,” says the insider. “It’s not something she would wish on anybody.”
And she thinks it’s time she’s forgiven. “Lori is sorry for what she did, but she feels she paid the price and just wants to move on.”

Bad Reputation

It’s been more difficult for Felicity to make headway, despite the fact that she publicly accepted responsibility for her crimes far sooner than Lori did. (Her husband, William H. Macy, was not charged.) While she’s currently starring in Taylor Mac’s comedy Hir in London’s West End, she hasn’t been able to nail down film or TV roles.

Part of her suspects her infamy may be the reason. “I did a pilot for ABC recently that didn’t get picked up,” the actress, who won an Emmy in 2005 for her work on Desperate Housewives, told The Guardian. “It’s been hard. Sort of like your old life died and you died with it.”

where is felicity huffman after college admissions scandal

She’s still processing what happened. “I’m lucky enough to have a family and love and means, so I had a place to land,” the actress, who grew up in posh Bedford, New York, the daughter of a wealthy banker, said of facing a dearth of work. (She and William are worth $45 million.)

Yet she’s desperate to shed the stigma. “Felicity doesn’t want to be associated with this scandal forever,” says the insider. “But she fears she will be for a very long time.”

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