Prosecutors in the U.S. college admissions scandal have recommended actress Felicity Huffman spend a month behind bars for bribing education officials to secure a top university spot for her daughter.
The U.S. Attorney filed documents on Friday (06Sep19), urging the judge overseeing the case to sentence Felicity to 30 days in federal prison and fine her $20,000 (£16,300).
That’s a big plus for the disgraced former Desperate Housewives star, who has pleaded guilty to trying to cheat the system – back in May, the prosecutors were demanding up to 10 months in jail.
“Some period of incarceration is the only meaningful sanction for these crimes,” the documents, obtained by TMZ, read. “Not because the defendants’ relative wealth has generated public resentment, but because jail is a particularly meaningful response to this kind of offense.
“For wrongdoing that is predicated on wealth and rationalized by a sense of privilege, incarceration is the only leveler: in prison everyone is treated the same, dressed the same, and intermingle regardless of affluence, position or fame.”
The U.S. Attorney continues: “Huffman’s conduct was deliberate and manifestly criminal: it was wrong, she knew it was wrong, and she actively participated in manipulating her daughter’s guidance counselor, the testing services and the schools to which her daughter applied… 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.”
Felicity’s attorney has recommended the actress is handed a year of probation, 250 hours community service and the $20,000 fine, while explaining Huffman’s actions have torpedoed her career and impacted on her daughter Sophia’s chances of landing a place at a performing arts college.
In her own letter to the judge, Huffman has attempted to explain why she tried to cheat the system, revealing she feared her daughter’s learning disability would prevent her from getting into a good college.
“I honestly didn’t and don’t care about my daughter going to a prestigious college,” she wrote, according to Variety. “I just wanted to give her a shot at being considered for a program where her acting talent would be the deciding factor.
“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… I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter, and failed my family. In my blind panic, I have done the exact thing that I was desperate to avoid. I have compromised my daughter’s future, the wholeness of my family and my own integrity… I have deep and abiding shame over what I have done.”