As Felicity Huffman awaits sentencing for her role in the massive college admissions scandal, the “Desperate Housewives” actress has written a letter to the judge that offers “a broader perspective and insight” into who she is “as a person and a parent.”
In May, Huffman pleaded guilty to mail fraud and honest services fraud after prosecutors accused her of paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT scores. Now she’s sharing her side of the situation, shedding light on its context, and detailing why she said “yes to this scheme.”
In a letter obtained by The Boston Globe, Huffman noted that she takes “complete responsibility” for her actions and that she “will respectfully accept whatever punishment the court deems appropriate.”
“The factual story is that I didn’t go shopping for a college counselor to find out how to rig a SAT score. I didn’t even know such a scheme existed,” she wrote.
“I honestly didn’t and don’t care about my daughter going to a prestigious college. I just wanted to give her a shot at being considered for a program where her acting talent would be the deciding factor,” she continued in the letter.
Huffman went on to explain that she hired a counselor for “guidance and expertise on how to apply to colleges” for her daughter, Sophia, who has “Sensory Modulation Issues.” She worked with William “Rick” Singer, the organizer behind the cheating scheme, who Huffman says suggested a proctor “bump up” her daughter’s test scores. Huffman admits she was “shocked” by the proposition and went back and forth by “avoiding the final decision.”
“I felt an urgency which built to a sense of panic that there was this huge obstacle in the way that needed to be fixed for my daughter’s sake. As warped as this sounds now, I honestly began to feel that maybe I would be a bad mother if I didn’t do what Mr. Singer was suggesting,” Huffman wrote.
In addition to detailing her experience, Huffman touched on motherhood, which she described as “bewildering.” She expressed, “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. I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair.”
Huffman is set to be sentenced by a judge on Friday. Federal prosecutors have recommended a one-month prison term for her involvement in the scam, while her attorneys have asked for a year of probation, a $20,000 fine, and 250 hours of community service.