Felicity Huffman Sentenced To 14 Days In Prison For Her Role In College Admissions Cheating Scandal
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is officially the first parent in the college admissions cheating scandal known as Varsity Blues to receive a sentence. On Friday, the judge sentenced her to 14 days in prison after she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and fraud after she paid $15,000 to help her daughter Sophia cheat on the SATs.
In addition to the jail time, the 56-year-old must also serve one year on probation, perform 250 hours of community service, and pay a $30,000 fine. According to CBS News , Huffman said in a statement that she accepts “the court’s decision without reservation.”
Before the judge handed down the sentence, Huffman held back tears as she apologized to the court and to her daughter, saying she was “deeply sorry” for her crime. She also said that while driving Sophia to the scheduled test she kept telling herself to turn around, but she went through with it anyway.
"I can only say I'm so sorry, Sophia. I was frightened and stupid. I now see all the things I knew was wrong. I realize now that love and truth must go hand in hand. I take full responsibility for my actions," she said. "I'm sorry to you, judge. I am deeply sorry to the students, parents, and colleges impacted by my actions. I am sorry to my daughters and my husband. I have betrayed them all.”
The Emmy Award-winning actress admitted that she paid admission consultant William Singer $15,000 in 2017 to bribe the SAT test proctor to make corrections on Sophia’s SAT. She ended up getting a score of 1420, which was 400 points higher than her PSAT score from the previous year.
Some outlets are reporting that Huffman’s lenient sentence was because she paid the least amount of money in the scandal compared to the other 33 parents. However, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani said that the size of the bribes would not influence the severity of punishment.
"I think this is the right sentence here," Talwani told Huffman. "You can move forward and rebuild your life after this. Without this sentence, I think the community around you would ask why you got away with this."
Huffman - who is married to Shameless star William H. Macy - is one of 15 parents who have pleaded guilty in the case. There are 19 others - including actress Lori Loughlin - who have pleaded not guilty and are fighting the charges.
Huffman will have to report to a facility selected by the Federal Bureau of Prisons on October 25th.