Felicity Huffman is facing just one moth in jail because she was part of the largest college admissions scandal in history. Now she is begging for mercy because she was desperate “to be a good mother.”
In a dramatic statement, Huffman said, “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. When my daughter looked at me and asked 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 say, ‘I am sorry. I was frightened and I was stupid.'”
Her husband William H. Macy also wrote in a letter to the judge saying their daughter “has nightmares from the FBI agents waking her that morning with guns drawn.”
It’s hard to have sympathy for Huffman when you think of Tanya McDowell, a homeless Black Connecticut mother who was charged with felony larceny in 2011 after she was caught lying about her home address so that her 6-year-old could attend an elementary school in a good district. She was slapped with a 12-year sentence and was indebted to the state for $6,200. She ended up serving five years.
When McDowell was released in March of 2017, she told The Hour, “I would still do it all over again because I haven’t been let down. My son exceeded all of my expectations.” While living with his grandmother while she was in jail, her son Andrew attended Thomas Hooker Elementary School in Bridgeport, had perfect attendance and made the honor roll.
“I’m not only doing it for Andrew,” McDowell explained. “I’m doing it for any other parent, any other child out there that has the potential to exceed and excel at a certain level and is just being deprived, period.”
The college admissions scandal has brought heavy scrutiny on colleges’ admissions practices that stack the odds against countless applicants who have been denied deserved spots at schools of their choice. Understandably, Black and brown students have been particularly outraged. Students of color have historically been accused of not earning their seat at the table because of race-based affirmative action policies. Their merits have been called into question while, as it turns out, the wealthy elite were benefitting from what has been called a broken college admissions system.
Huffman will be sentenced on Friday.