Felicity Huffman hasn’t appeared on Desperate Housewives in years — but today’s court appearance was her most desperate yet. A month after agreeing to plead guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges in connection with the college admissions scandal, the 56-year-old actress appeared in a courthouse in Boston today to officially submit her plea. According to Hollywood Life, Huffman teared up while pleading guilty to a federal judge, and faces up to twenty years in prison.
Huffman had previously agreed to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Her specific crime is a payment of $15,000 to a fake charity called the Key Worldwide Foundation, an organization that then falsified her daughter’s SAT scores to improve her chances of admission. After Huffman entered her guilty plea, federal judge Indira Talwani ran through the rights the actress will be losing as a result of pleading guilty to a felony charge. As a convicted felon, Huffman will no longer be able to vote in all states, own a firearm, or hold office.
Huffman agreed to plead guilty to these charges along with 13 other parents, with the understanding that federal prosecutors would recommend a more lenient sentence. Addressing the court today, prosecutors expressed that they would be seeking a four-month prison sentence for the Desperate Housewives star, as well as a $20,000 fine and 12 months probation.
The official ruling will be released on September 14, for Huffman and the other parents submitting guilty pleas today. Other celebrities involved in the college admissions scandal — notably, Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — are refusing to submit guilty pleas, and will have their legal fates determined separately. In Huffman’s guilty plea statement back in April, the star expressed remorse for her “misguided and profoundly wrong” attempts to help her daughter. “I have betrayed her,” Huffman wrote. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life.”