Photo Credit: Felicity Huffman/Instagram
In the ongoing college admissions scandal, Felicity Huffman played it smart by pleading guilty early on in May and following the advice of her legal team. Now that her sentencing in next Friday, she’s dragging in her friends as a Hail Mary pass to the judge seeking leniency. A 3 page letter from the Desperate Housewives actress filed Friday with the federal court in Boston stated that she has “a deep and abiding shame” about what she did and only did it because she found motherhood to be “bewildering” and wanted to help her daughter with her career in acting. Usually when people want their children to become actors and actresses, they just send their children to acting school or hire a coach. It doesn’t generally involve fraud… just saying.
“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’s letter to U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani stated. “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.”
One person not buying her Chicago style Velma Kelly “act of desperation” is U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling who feels 30 days behind bars would do her some good especially since she knew the scheme was wrong and chose to participate anyway. “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,” his office wrote in its filing Friday. “Millions of parents send their kids to college every year. All of them care as much she does about their children’s fortunes. But they don’t buy fake SAT scores and joke about it (‘Ruh Ro!’) along the way.” She actually used the Scooby Doo expression after her daughter’s school tried to have her daughter use their test proctor versus one preferred by the consultant she was paying. As a sidebar, I treat every email I send as though they can come up later in life in the press.. just like this, to avoid public embarrassment. But then again, I’m not committing fraud either.
Two dozen letters have also been submitted including one from her friend and Desperate Housewives costar Eva Longoria who described Huffman as a “gentle character” with a “kind heart.” She went on to say “When I began the TV show, I was very new to the business and industry as a whole. Felicity was the first one to take me under her wing,” she wrote. “I know I would not have survived those years if it wasn’t for the friendship of Felicity.” She also wrote “She always leads with her heart and has always put others first.”
As a reminder, she’s only facing a month behind bars when prosecutors could have sought after as much as 6 months under federal sentencing guidelines. She wants 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine and her attorneys are saying that fraud cases involving standardized tests that result in incarceration are “exceptionally rare.” While the letters that were provided on her behalf were nice, this is not a case to warrant sympathy. Plenty of parents want to put their children in the best school possible, but they don’t have thousands to bribe those in the admissions process. We would argue that the parents who struggle with barely getting their children into any school based on finances or grades that were just good enough are the ones our hearts should be going out towards and not a multimillionaire trying to illegally prop up her family name using her child as a pawn in a fraud scheme. While Huffman was a favorite of mine in Desperate Housewives, however this case goes, leniency is absolutely not what should come out of this and she needs to be taught a lesson and be made an example out of for mocking the entire education process people struggle with everyday.