Felicity Huffman appeared before a judge over the weekend and revealed the reason she participated in a nationwide college cheating scandal is because she wanted her daughter to have a “fair shot” at higher education.
In April, the Golden Globe winner pled guilty to paying William “Rick” Singer $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT results. Singer, who pled guilty to money laundering, racketeering, obstruction of justice and tax evasion, is the 58-year-old who admitted to organizing the chessboard of college coaches and SAT exam proctors to help the parents of wealthy kids get into top-tier institutions. Along with Huffman, Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, as well as 48 other high-power executives were also involved in the plot.
Federal prosecutors initially wanted Huffman to spend four months in prison. However, in a reported submission to the court, the sentence was lowered to one month plus probation. In a memo, the prosecution said the month-long sentence is warranted because Huffman knew her actions were illegal.
“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,” the prosecution wrote. “Millions of parents send their kids to college every year. All of them care as much as she does about their children’s fortunes, but they don’t buy fake SAT scores and joke about it… along the way.”
Huffman’s daughter has a reported learning disability and the ruse was using her daughter’s disability to potentially get more time to take the test only for it to be shipped to a testing center Singer owned.
The actress said she wasn’t concerned with her daughter going to an Ivy League school, her decision to pay Singer was driven by her insecurity as a mom.
“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,” she wrote. “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’s daughter, however, wasn’t in on the scheme and when she learned of her mother’s actions was disappointed. “Why didn’t you believe in me? Why didn’t you think I could do it on my own?” Huffman recalled.
The 56-year-old is slated to be sentenced next Friday in Boston.