Vanessa Williams is standing by her friend, Felicity Huffman, after Huffman's involvement in a college admissions scam.
"I was terrified for [Huffman] when I heard that the feds came with guns drawn in the morning to take her down,” the Ugly Betty alum said at the Broadway opening of the musical Beetlejuice in New York City on Thursday. "My phone blew up. I did text her. I just said, ‘Wishing you love and protection.’ And she just said, ‘Thank you, my dear friend. That’s what I need.’ And that’s all you can do as a friend."
Williams said she was "surprised for sure" by the scandal. "I'm happy that all my kids, luckily, went to arts schools or had to audition. But, you know, I know what it's like to want the best for your kids," she said.
Huffman, 56, was arrested in March after allegedly making a "purported charitable donation of $15,000" to get her and husband William H. Macy's eldest daughter into a prestigious university, according to an indictment.
Earlier this month, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. "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 at the time.
She continued: “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.”
Law experts say Huffman could technically be sentenced to four to 10 months in prison under the guidelines considered by the U.S. Attorney's Office, although it's possible Huffman's attorneys could argue for no prison time.
Meanwhile, Full House actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are both facing 20 years behind bars after they failed to take a plea deal and were slapped with an additional money laundering charge.
The two pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges of fraud and money laundering.
Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted after they allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
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