Actress Felicity Huffman fought back tears in a US court as she formally entered a guilty plea in the US college admissions bribery scheme.
The former Desperate Housewives star paid an admissions consultant $US15,000 ($21,600) to have her elder daughter’s answers corrected on the SAT university admission test.
Huffman, 56, said her daughter had been seeing a neuropsychologist for years and been getting extra time on tests since she was 11.
“I just didn’t want to create the impression that neuropsychologists have any part in this,” she told the court.
She said she had “betrayed” her 18-year-old daughter, who was not aware of her plan.
“This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life,” Huffman said.
“My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
Prosecutors will recommend four months in prison, but the judge could choose not to put her behind bars at all.
Investigators have said husband William H. Macy, 69, was with Huffman when admissions consultant Rick Singer explained how he could arrange for the cheating because he “controlled” a test centre, but he was not charged. He attend court with his wife, who was joined by her brother.
Actress Lori Loughlin (Full House, Fuller House) will fight similar charges.
Huffman will be sentenced in September.