From the filmmaker behind some of our favorite Netflix (opens in new tab) documentaries—including Tiger King (opens in new tab) and the Fyre Festival (opens in new tab) flick—comes a new viral-making doc, this time centered on the 2019 U.S. college admissions scandal that famously embroiled 33 high-powered parents, including Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.
Directed by Chris Smith and entitled Operation Varsity Blues, the docu-film will delve into Rick Singer, the man at the center of the sinister scam, and the extent to which he went to get the children of wealthy parents into some of America's most prestigious universities, including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford. Singer's schemes included using $25 million of fake "donations" from the parents to bribe college officials, falsify sports credentials, and inflate entrance exam test scores.
The streaming giant released a teaser today of the new documentary, which features one of the “narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations” between Singer and his clients.
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Portrayed by actor Matthew Modine, Singer's conversation with an undercover FBI agent is highlighted in the chilling clip: "Is there any risk that this thing blows up in my face? Like some article comes out that the polo team is selling seats into the school for $250,000?"
The FBI correspondent replies: "Well, no, because she's a water polo player." Singer unknowingly exposes his scandal, adding: "But she's not."
Netflix is yet to comment on whether any of the wealthy families will feature in the film, but previous interviews will be woven throughout the wiretapped conversations.
Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion-designer husband Mossimo Giannulli both were sentenced to jail time after news hit that the couple paid $500,000 to get their daughter, Youtuber Olivia Jade Giannulli, into the University of Southern California. Loughlin was released after a two-month imprisonment in December 2020, while Giannulli is still serving out his five-month sentence.
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud back in 2019 after paying $15,000 to Singer to hire someone to take the SATs under her daughter's name. Huffman served an 11-day prison sentence; her husband, Shameless actor William H. Macy, was not charged.
Operation Varsity Blues is scheduled to premiere on Netflix on March 17th. We can't wait to tune in!
Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life.
More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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