Felicity Huffman will spend a month in prison for her part in the college admissions scandal, if federal prosecutors have their way.
They filed a court document Friday asking that Huffman also face a year of supervised release and pay a $20,000 fine.
“Her efforts weren’t driven by need or desperation, but by a sense of entitlement, or at least moral cluelessness, facilitated by wealth and insularity,” prosecutors argued in the filing, per NBC News.
The Desperate Housewives actress pleaded guilty in May, after she was accused of paying $15,000 to have someone correct her daughter’s answers on the SAT. One of the many parents caught up in what’s known as Operation Varsity Blues, she’s scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 13.
Attorneys for Huffman, in a sentencing memorandum, asked the judge to sentence her to a year of probation, 250 hours of community service and the $20,000 fine.
Huffman also wrote a letter to the judge — one of several documents from the case that Law360 journalist Aaron Leibowitz shared on Twitter — leading up to her sentencing in which she explained how her crime has affected her.
“In my desperation to be a good mother I talked myself into believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot,” Huffman wrote. “I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair. I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter, and failed my family.”
The Transamerica actress recalled the reaction of her daughter, Sophia, to her arrest. The teen “asked with tears streaming down her face, ‘Why didn’t you believe in me? Why didn’t you think I could do it on my own?’”
Felicity Huffman: "When my daughter looked at me and asked with tears streaming down her face, 'Why didn't you believe in me? Why didn't you think I could do it on my own?' I had no adequate answer for her. I could only say, 'I am sorry. I was frightened and I was stupid.'" pic.twitter.com/Ffq9qpvjkL— Aaron Leibowitz (@aaron_leib) September 6, 2019
Actress Eva Longoria, who worked with Huffman on Desperate Housewives, also wrote a letter to the judge, speaking about her former co-star’s character. Longoria noted that she was early in her career and therefore anxious when she landed on the nighttime soap but said Huffman helped her from the start.
“There was a time I was being bullied at work by a co-worker. I dreaded the days I had to work with that person because it was pure torture,” Longoria wrote. “Until one day, Felicity told the bully ‘enough’ and it all stopped. Felicity could tell that I was riddled with anxiety even though I never complained or mentioned the abuse to anyone.”
She said that, after it was revealed Longoria was earning significantly less than her peers, Huffman suggested the stars of ABC show negotiate together.
Eva Longoria tells the judge that, while working on Desperate Housewives, Felicity Huffman helped Longoria confront a bully, supported her when she wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe, and vouched for her in contract negotiations. pic.twitter.com/5PUfGLTXuq— Aaron Leibowitz (@aaron_leib) September 6, 2019
Longoria also said Huffman supported her charities, which were always for children of the Latino community.
“I did the work, because I am Latino, but Felicity didn’t have to, she wanted to,” Longoria wrote. “There were so many times that she was the only white woman in the room helping me improve the lives of these brown faces and families. I will never forget that.”
In all, 27 people, including Huffman’s husband and Sophia’s father, actor William H. Macy, wrote letters on Huffman’s behalf. He said that Huffman has always been a devoted parent.
However, “she’s always struggled to find the balance between what the experts say, and her own common sense,” he wrote.
He said that the couple and both of their daughters have been attending family therapy since the arrest.
Still, he added, “Every good thing in my life is because of Felicity Huffman.”
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