Watch CBS News

John Wilson, Charged In College Admissions Scam, Sues Over Portrayal In Netflix Show

BOSTON (CBS) – Lynnfield resident John Wilson, charged in the college admissions scam, filed a defamation lawsuit against Netflix over how he was portrayed in the streaming service's series on the case.

Wilson, 61, is facing charges of filing a false tax return, money laundering conspiracy, and federal programs bribery.

He allegedly paid Rick Singer, who was at the center of the scam, $220,000 to help his son get accepted into the University of Southern California as a water polo player. Wilson also allegedly paid Singer $1.5 million to help his twin daughters receive admission into Harvard and Stanford.

In the lawsuit against Netflix, Wilson said he is innocent and was "deceived by the confessed felon behind the 'Varsity Blues' scandal," referring to Singer.

john wilson
John Wilson leaves federal court in Boston on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Netflix used reenactments in its documentary series "Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal," which was released earlier this year.

The lawsuit argues that "Mr. Wilson's son was a real and talented water polo player who was part of the United States Olympic development program, that his daughters had 99th percentile test scores based on tests that they themselves took, and other publicly available exculpatory information, all of which the Wilsons provided to Defendants."

Still, Wilson claims in the lawsuit "Netflix and the other Defendants knowingly and recklessly ignored those facts and painted the Wilsons with the broadest and dirtiest brush possible."

Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among those to plead guilty in the case.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.