On Friday, a federal judge in Boston sentenced Felicity Huffman, the Desperate Housewives star who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud for her role in the college admissions scandal, to 14 days in jail. She will also be required to pay a $30,000 fine and serve 250 hours of probation, as well as a year of supervised release.
In a tear-filled statement to Judge Indira Talwani directly before sentencing, Huffman said, “I was frightened, I was stupid, and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I’ve done.” She added that she takes “full responsibility for my actions,” and “I will deserve whatever punishment you give me.”
In March, Huffman was implicated in the nationwide college admissions cheating ring led by college counselor William “Rick” Singer. An unsealed FBI indictment revealed that Huffman, Full House actor Lori Loughlin, and nearly three dozen other parents had paid Singer to help their children gain admission to elite schools. The indictment alleged that parents paid Singer up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to help their children cheat on entrance exams or bribe admissions counselors at elite schools to recruit them as college athletes.
Huffman was accused of paying Singer $15,000 to arrange for a proxy to take the SATs for her eldest daughter so she could raise her score and gain admission to a top performing arts school. Singer has pled guilty to racketeering and other charges, and has not yet been sentenced.
Initially, prosecutors recommended that Huffman serve four months in prison for her role in the case. That recommendation was later reduced to just one month. Because Huffman paid Singer a relatively small amount of money compared to the other defendants, her recommended sentence was much lighter than that of the other defendants, such as Loughlin, who are facing up to 15 months in prison.
In a letter to the judge prior to sentencing, Huffman expressed contrition for her role in the case and explained why she had agreed to pay Singer. “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,” she wrote in her letter, adding that she sees “the irony in that statement now.”