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What was the accusation?
On March 12, 2019, award-winning actress Felicity Huffman was arrested on charges from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud as part of a cheating scheme designed to boost her daughter Sophia’s college admissions SAT score. Fraud charges stem from a payment of $15,000 to facilitate the cheating and higher SAT score. The news of Huffman’s arrest, while at home with husband and well-known actor, William H. Macy, and their two daughters, spread quickly. Multiple individuals were charged, including other high-profile people, but her husband Macy was not one of them. Huffman released a public statement on April 8, 2019, and again after being sentenced to 14 days in prison. She received a $30,000 fine on September 13, 2019 and served 11 days of a two-week sentence.
Key Apologia Strategies:
Mortification, Corrective Action
April 8, 2019 (1st Public Statement Pleading Guilty)
I am pleading guilty to the charge brought against me by the United States Attorney’s Office.
I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.
I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.
My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.
September 13, 2019 (Public Statement After Being Sentenced)
I accept the court’s decision today without reservation. I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge [Indira] Talwani imposed. I broke the law. I have admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period.
I would like to apologize again to my daughter, my husband, my family and the educational community for my actions. And I especially want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices supporting their children.
I have learned a lot over the last six months about my flaws as a person. My goal now is to serve the sentence that the court has given me. I look forward to doing my community service hours and making a positive impact on my community. I also plan to continue making contributions wherever I can well after those service hours are completed.
I can promise you that in the months and years to come that I will try and live a more honest life, serve as a better role model for my daughters and family and continue to contribute my time and energies wherever I am needed.
My hope now is that my family, my friends and my community will forgive me for my actions.
Garrison, J. (2019, September 13). Felicity Huffman sentenced: 2 weeks in prison, $30,000 fine for college admissions scandal. Retrieved from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2019/09/13/felicity-huffmans-sentenced-college-admissions-scandal/2284438001/
Morales, M. (2019, April 8). Felicity Huffman issues apology over college admissions case. Retrieved from CNN entertainment: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/08/entertainment/felicity-huffman-statement
Vera, A. (2019, September 13). Here’s what Felicity Huffman said at her sentencing. Retrieved from CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/13/us/felicity-huffman-sentencing-statement/