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Jane Buckingham’s daughter Lilia speaks on college cheating scandal

The daughter of parenting guru Jane Buckingham, who paid $50,000 for a proctor to take the ACT exam for her son in 2018, is speaking out on the college admissions scandal saying, ‘It’s ok to move on and learn from past mistakes.’

Lilia Buckingham, Jane’s influencer daughter, 17, appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday.

It’s been over a year since Jane, the 53-year-old founder of California marketing firm Trendera and author of five books including ‘The Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood’, was sentenced to three weeks in jail for her part in the sweeping cheating scandal.

‘I think we’re all doing a lot better, obviously I’m a big advocate for therapy, and I was definitely really sad and upset by my mother’s actions but I was lucky enough to have an incredible support system,’ Lilia said.

‘We’re all doing ok. It is ok to move on and forgive and learn from past mistakes. That’s definitely an important life lesson that I learned through that whole experience,’ Lilia added. 

Lilia Buckingham, the daughter of parenting guru Jane Buckingham who paid $50,000 for a proctor to take the ACT exam for her son in the Varsity Blues scandal, spoke out on Good Morning America Tuesday saying: ‘I think we’re all doing a lot better, obviously I’m a big advocate for therapy, and I was definitely really sad and upset by my mother’s actions’

In the scandal Jane Buckingham paid for a proctor to take her son Jack's ACT exam, landing him a 35 out of 36. Jane pictured with her children Lilia and Jack above

In the scandal Jane Buckingham paid for a proctor to take her son Jack’s ACT exam, landing him a 35 out of 36. Jane pictured with her children Lilia and Jack above 

She appeared on the morning show to promote her new book Influence, written with Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard. 

In October 2019 Jane Buckingham was sentenced to three weeks in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of fraud and conspiracy. It’s unclear when she’ll serve her sentence.

She admitted to paying $50,000 to have a test proctor take the ACT exam for her son in 2018 that landed him a 35 out of 36 on the test, ranking in the 96th percentile nationally. 

According to the court documents related to the case, Buckingham’s son Jack was due to fly to Texas to sit his exam in a test center that was in on the scheme but he came down with tonsilitis.

Buckingham, who didn’t want him to fly, allegedly arranged for Jack to take a fake test at home while someone else took his test in Texas.

Buckingham pictured walking into the federal court house in Boston, Massachusetts for her sentencing where she has handed down three weeks in prison for her role in the nationwide college admissions cheating scheme on October 23, 2019

Buckingham pictured walking into the federal court house in Boston, Massachusetts for her sentencing where she has handed down three weeks in prison for her role in the nationwide college admissions cheating scheme on October 23, 2019

Buckingham with her son Jack pictured above. She gave a sample of her son's handwriting to a person taking his test to match his writing style

Buckingham with her son Jack pictured above. She gave a sample of her son’s handwriting to a person taking his test to match his writing style

The 53-year-old is the founder of California marketing firm Trendera and author of five books including 'The Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood'

The 53-year-old is the founder of California marketing firm Trendera and author of five books including ‘The Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood’

Jack took the test in his bedroom in July 2018 and believed that it had secured him his score.

Buckingham had given a handwriting sample from her son so the person taking the test could attempt to match his writing on the exam.

In a wiretapped phone call with Rick Singer, the mastermind of the massive scheme, Buckingham said: ‘He has not great writing. I’m gonna give you that’.

She later emailed across the writing sample and said: ‘Good luck with this’.

Months later in October, in a conversation wiretapped by investigators, Buckingham expressed interest in having someone take her daughter Lilia’s entrance exams as well.

Buckingham admitted that her daughter is ‘not a great test taker’.

In a letter to Judge Indira Talwani, Buckingham wrote: ‘This wasn’t just a single bad decision. I could have stopped at multiple points, but each time I made the deliberate choice to go forward.’

Her son Jack, who said he was advised not to speak about the matter, issued a statement to the Hollywood Reporter in 2019 saying he was ‘unknowingly involved’ in the cheating scheme.

In a conversation wiretapped by investigators, Buckingham expressed interest in having someone take her daughter Lilia's entrance exams as well. Buckingham admitted that her daughter is 'not a great test taker'

In a conversation wiretapped by investigators, Buckingham expressed interest in having someone take her daughter Lilia’s entrance exams as well. Buckingham admitted that her daughter is ‘not a great test taker’

Lilia and her brother Jack pictured above celebrating Christmas this year

Lilia and her brother Jack pictured above celebrating Christmas this year

Buckingham is friends with actress Felicity Huffman (together above in 2010), who was also implicated in the scandal and served 11 days of her 14-day sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California. She was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and perform 250 hours of community service.

Buckingham is friends with actress Felicity Huffman (together above in 2010), who was also implicated in the scandal and served 11 days of her 14-day sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California. She was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and perform 250 hours of community service.

‘I know there are millions of kids out there both wealthy and less fortunate who grind their a** off just to have a shot at the college of their dreams,’ he wrote.

‘I am upset that I was unknowingly involved in a large scheme that helps give kids who may not work as hard as others an advantage over those who truly deserve those spots.’

‘For that I am sorry though I know my word does not mean much to many people at the moment. While the situation I am going through is not a pleasant one, I take comfort in the fact that this might help finally cut down on money and wealth being such a heavy factor in college admissions.

‘Instead, I hope colleges may prioritize an applicants’ character, intellect, and other qualities over everything else.’

Buckingham was among the 50 people charged last year for allegedly conspiring with mastermind Rick Singer to cheat their children’s way into college.

Her friend actress Felicity Huffman was also implicated in the scandal and served 11 days of her 14-day sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California. She was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and perform 250 hours of community service.  


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