Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in jail on Friday for her role in the college admissions cheating scandal. The popular television actress has admitted to paying $15,000 in an effort to boost her eldest daughter’s SAT score.
Huffman, 56, also received one year of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $30,000 fine. Huffman said in a statement that she accepts the “court’s decision without reservation.”
U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani told Huffman that “being a good mother doesn’t excuse this.” She also noted that Huffman did not participate in the scheme for her second daughter.
“In terms of your moving forward and rehabilitation, move forward and rebuild your life after this,” Talwani said. “You paid your dues.”
Before the sentencing, Huffman tearfully apologized to Talwani, saying she was “deeply sorry” for her actions. She also apologized directly to her daughter, Sophia.
“I can only say I’m so sorry, Sofia. I was frightened and stupid. I now see all the things I knew was wrong. I realize now that love and truth must go hand in hand. I take full responsibility for my actions,” she said.
Prosecutors had sought a one-year sentence for Huffman. Federal prosecutor Eric Rosen said, “with all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood.”
“That’s what every parent goes through,” Rosen said. “What parenthood does not do, it does not make you a felon. It does make you cheat. We all want the best for our children, but most parents have the moral compass not to step over the line.”
In 2017, Huffman paid the $15,000 to William Singer, an admissions consultant who allegedly bribed a test proctor to make corrections on her daughter’s SAT. Her daughter received a score of 1420, approximately 400 points over her PSAT score from the year prior, according to the federal indictment.
Huffman pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy and fraud in May.
Earlier Friday, Talwani said the size of the bribes paid by parents in the admissions scandal would not influence the severity of their punishments. Fifteen parents, including Huffman, have pleaded guilty. Nineteen others are fighting the charges.