Six months after Felicity Huffman was arrested in connection to the nationwide college admissions scandal, the actress was sentenced to 14 days in prison. She was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine, a year of supervised release and must complete 250 hours of community service.
The former Desperate Housewives star, 56, arrived in Boston on Wednesday, September 11, with husband William H. Macy for the Friday, September 13, hearing. Several of Huffman’s siblings were also by her side in court.
“I was frightened, I was stupid and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done,” a visibly emotional Huffman told the judge on Friday before the verdict. “I take full responsibility for my actions. … I am prepared to accept whatever sentence you deem fit.”
The When They See Us star was arrested on March 12 after she paid $15,000 to improve her 19-year-old daughter Sophia’s SAT scores. (She also shares 17-year-old daughter Georgia with the Shameless star.) A month after the Emmy winner apologized in a statement, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud charges.
“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” Huffman’s statement read. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”
A week before her sentencing, Us Weekly obtained letters that Huffman and 27 of her family and friends, including Macy and Eva Longoria, wrote to District of Massachusetts Judge Indira Talwani in support of the Otherhood star.
“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 before detailing Sophia’s heartbreaking reaction to her mother’s actions. “[She] 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?’”
Huffman’s recommended sentence from the government was one month in jail, 12 months of supervised release and a fine of $20,000.
Fellow actress Lori Loughlin was also indicted in the case. The Full House alum and husband Mossimo Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 to ensure their daughters’ acceptance to the University of Southern California as members of the crew team even though Bella, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19, do not play the sport. After turning down a plea deal, the couple pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.
A source revealed in the new issue of Us Weekly that Loughlin’s friends wish she took the plea deal like Huffman did.
“Lori’s friends are concerned,” the source said. “They say she should have followed [Felicity] Huffman’s lead and taken a plea deal and accepted responsibility.”
Loughlin and Giannulli are each facing years or even decades of prison time.
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Scroll through to see photos of Huffman arriving at the courthouse: