In the letter obtained by ET, Huffman begins by writing, “I am concerned that in giving you context it will seem like I am offering you a justification. Please, let me be very clear; I know there is no justification for what I have done. Yes, there is a bigger picture, but ultimately it doesn’t matter because I could have said ‘No’ to cheating on the SAT scores.”
She goes on to note that her daughter, Sophia, has always struggled with “Sensory Modulation Issues,” explaining, “she would under or over respond to the outside world and couldn’t regulate herself.” Huffman says that ultimately, Sophia was diagnosed with learning disabilities.
The Desperate Housewives star also insists that she “didn’t and don’t care about my daughter going to a prestigious college,” but rather was concerned that her acting auditions at top schools would be ignored due to her struggling grades and scores.
“To my utter shame, I finally agreed to cheating on Sophia’s SAT scores, and also considering doing the same thing for [my younger daughter] Georgia,” she writes, explaining that a tutor offered to alter the scores. “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.”
Huffman concludes her note by talking about her struggles as a mother and noting that her insecurities led to her lapse in judgment.
“I find Motherhood bewildering. From the moment, my children were born I worried that they got me as a Mother,” she writes. “I so desperately wanted to do it right and was so deathly afraid of doing it wrong.”
Referring to herself as “insecure and highly anxious,” she adds, “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.”
She also sheds some light on how things have been going with her daughter since the news of the scandal broke.
“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,” she writes. “I could only say, ‘I am sorry. I was frightened and I was stupid.’”
She adds that the ordeal has left her with “shame and regret that I will carry for the rest of my life.”
In his own letter to the judge, Huffman’s husband, William H. Macy, gushed about his wife’s “amazing ability” as a mother to their two daughters. He confirmed that motherhood “frightened” Huffman, saying, “she has not carried being a mom easily.”
He added that it has been extremely hard on their daughter, Sophia, who had her heart set on a college that didn’t even require SAT scores, but that allegedly pulled her name after the news of the scandal broke.
“She called us from the airport in hysterics, begging us to ‘do something, please, please do something,’” he recalled. “Sophia is slowly regaining her equilibrium and getting on with her life. She doesn’t like to sleep alone and has nightmares from the FBI agents waking her that morning with guns drawn.”
The U.S. Attorney requested that Huffman be sentenced to one month of incarceration, followed by 12 months of supervised release and a fine of $20,000.
According to the lengthy indictment ET obtained in March, Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to help get her eldest daughter, 19-year-old Sofia, into an elite college by cheating on the SAT. Huffman formally pleaded guilty for her part in the massive college admissions scam during a tearful court appearance in May.
Huffman’s Desperate Housewives co-star, Eva Longoria, also penned a letter in her defense to the judge in the case, highlighting the “bullying” she experienced on the set of the series from an unnamed co-star. She talked about Huffman’s fight for her to get equal pay with the show's other leads and her constant willingness to help with Longoria’s charities.
“There were so many times Felicity was the only white woman in the room helping me improve the lives of these brown faces and families,” she wrote. “I will never forget that.”
“I think she has a heart that is bigger than the sun and that’s the Felicity I know and that’s the woman I choose to support and love,” she said at the time. “She was humbled by what happened and I think she did handle it with as much grace as she could in that situation.”