Felicity Huffman is inspiring outrage after the actress was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for her role in a brazen college admissions scandal, in which involving rich and famous families funneled cash to fixers to help their children get into the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities.
“Who will learn less? Felicity Huffman after 14 days in prison or her child after 4 years in college?” asked comedian, writer and producer Neal Brennan, while another social media user got in on the jokes with this line: “I could buy milk when #FelicityHuffman goes to jail and it would still be good when she’s released.”
Huffman, 56, was also given a $30,000 fine, one year of probation and 250 hours of community service for paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT scores corrected. She must report to a facility chosen by the federal Bureau of Prisons on Oct. 25 and has asked to do her time at an all-female facility closer to her home in Southern California.
“I think this is the right sentence here,” U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani told Huffman. “You can move forward and rebuild your life after this. Without this sentence, I think the community around you would ask why you got away with this.”
“Tanya McDowell serving 12 years for sending her child to school in a better district and Felicity Huffman getting 14 days for scamming a university is proof the justice system works for the people it’s designed to work for,” comedian and writer Travon Free tweeted moments after Huffman’s sentence was levied.
One popular TV judge, Greg Mathis, echoed Free’s sentiment.
“Actress Felicity Huffman got 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to boost her child’s SAT scores in a college admissions scam. Remember when a Black homeless woman named Tanya McDowell got 5 YEARS for using the wrong address to put her son in kindergarten? Why the difference?SMH,” Mathis lamented.
The emotional “Desperate Housewives” alum addressed Judge Talwani in Boston federal court before she received her sentence. “I’m sorry to you, judge. I am deeply sorry to the students, parents and colleges impacted by my actions,” she said. “I am sorry to my daughters and my husband. I have betrayed them all.
“My mind keeps returning to the 30-minute drive to the testing center. I kept thinking, ‘Turn around,'” she said.
Huffman said her daughter Sophia asked why she didn’t believe in her.
“I had no answer,” Huffman said. “I can only say I’m so sorry, Sophia. I was frightened, I was stupid and I was so wrong. I am deeply ashamed of what I have done. I have done more damage than I could ever imagine. I realize now with my mothering that love and truth go hand in hand. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Huffman is the first parent to be sentenced in the federal admissions-scandal probe, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” The actress previously pleaded for leniency.
Fox News’ Chris Kensler and Mariah Haas contributed to this report.