We don’t talk that much about Felicity Huffman’s role in Aunt Becky’s college admissions scandal, and perhaps that is because she never offered complicated and silly rationale in which she pretended allegedly paying bribes to give already incredibly privileged children a leg up in the admissions process so they could take university spots they didn’t earn was the same as “donating money for a library.” Huffman’s defense in her bid to stay out of jail after pleading guilty to the charges is simply that motherhood is hard.
On Friday, prosecutors requested that Huffman spend a month in jail along with a $20,000 fine as punishment for paying $15,000 to falsify her daughters SAT scores. In a letter to the judge, Huffman wrote that perhaps she should not go to jail because motherhood is already punishment enough:
“I find Motherhood bewildering,” she admitted in her letter. 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. My own fears and lack of confidence, combined with a daughter who has learning disabilities often made me insecure and feel highly anxious from the beginning.”
Peer pressure is a bitch, especially when all the other Beverly Hills moms are paying thousands to get their little Sophies and Graces into Yale on yachting scholarships. But the part where she blames her daughter’s shitty school is a little beyond the pale:
“The Oscar nominee said she employed Singer’s services because Sophia’s high school was ‘underfunded’ and had only one college counselor. After working with him ‘legitimately’ for a year, he suggested inflating the teen’s math score.”
The H. Macy-Huffmans surely were not trapped in a struggling school district hoping the money would come through to ensure every child got a desk. They are movie stars with access to services that can literally buy admission to Ivy League schools. Surely schools with more than one guidance counselor were within their grasp.
Anyway, Huffman’s letter, along with those from her famous husband and friends, asks for a year of probation instead of jail time. Husband William H. Macy’s letter reinforced his wife’s insistence that Huffman just isn’t a natural at finding a balance between ethics and motherhood when the experts are always advocating bribery: “Motherhood has, from the very beginning, frightened Felicity and she has not carried being a mom easily. She’s struggled to find a balance between what the experts say, and her common sense.”
Eva Longoria’s letter “praised Huffman for volunteering for Latino charities and improving the lives of “brown faces” despite being a white woman.”
Letters to judges are kind of like all the things people say at the wake of a person who wasn’t that great, but instead of grasping for or straight up inventing reasons God might let the departed into heaven, judge letters equivocate all the laws a person has broken to give a judge justification for withholding punishment. We can only hope to live our lives in such ways that one day, celebrities will say incredibly odd things about us in letters to our judges.