Felicity Huffman is seeking forgiveness for her role in the college admissions scandal that resulted in the arrests of 50 individuals.
In response to federal prosecutors' filing suggesting the actress should serve one month in prison and pay a $20,000 fine for her involvement in the scheme, Huffman's legal team filed a 161-page memorandum requesting the judge sentence her to one year of probation and 250 hours of community service. Included in the documents is a letter written by Huffman to the judge presiding over the case. The lengthy plea paints a deeply personal picture of Huffman's life at home with daughters Sophia Macy and Georgia Macy, and the "utter shame" she felt after agreeing to falsely improve Sophia's SAT scores.
Huffman, 56, described the lengths she went to throughout Sophia's childhood to properly treat her learning disabilities. Upon entering high school, Huffman said she was referred to private college counselor Rick Singer, who she claimed told her that Sophia's math scores "were not measuring up" after a year of tutoring.
"He told me," she wrote, 'We will make sure she gets the scores she needs,' by having a proctor bump up her scores after she takes the test. Sophia would never know and she could, 'Concentrate on what really matters: here grades and her auditions.' He said he did it for many of his students."
After six weeks of contemplation, Huffman said she "finally agreed to cheating on Sophia's SAT scores and also considered doing the same thing for Georgia."
"But the decision haunted me terribly; I knew it was not right. I finally came to my senses and told Mr. Singer to stop the process for Georgia," she continued in the letter.
In addressing her "personal side" of the events, Huffman claimed, "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. I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter, and failed my family."
Following her arrest in March, Huffman said she was forced to face Sophia, who she alleged was unaware of her mother's involvement in fabricating her scores.
She described the emotional confrontation in great detail, writing, "When my daughter looked at me and asked me with tears streaming down her face, 'Why didn't you believe in me? Why didn't you think I could do it on my own?' I had no adequate answer for her. I could only saw, 'I am sorry. I was frightened and I was stupid.' 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."
Huffman concluded the letter by writing, "As painful as this has been, I am truly grateful for the lessons I have learned and for opportunity to change and live more honestly. I am now focusing on repairing my relationship with my daughter, my family and making amends to my community."
Huffman's husband William H. Macy, her former Desperate Housewives co-star Eva Longoria and the show's creator Marc Cherry all wrote letters to the judge on her behalf. Read them here.
Huffman plead guilty to the charges in April. Her sentencing is schedule for Sept. 13.