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William H. Macy Wrote a Letter on Behalf of Felicity Huffman to the Court — But Will It Work?
A lawyer weighs in on the family's attempts to explain Felicity Huffman's choices in the college admissions scandal.
William H. Macy has written a letter to the judge presiding over the college admissions scandal case in which his wife, Felicity Huffman, will be sentenced over on Friday.
The actor submitted his letter of support to Judge Indira Talwani, explaining why Huffman made the choices she did for her eldest daughter.
“Rebuilding that relationship with them] will be a long process,” Macy wrote. “But I also want you to know Felicity has raised two amazing young women.”
Huffman had paid $15,000 to have a proctor correct answers on her daughter Sofia’s SATs. She pleaded guilty on May 13 to her role in the scandal.
He called Huffman’s own upbringing “sometimes violent,” explaining that the actress “was largely raised by either her sisters or, being the youngest, left to her own devices.”
She moved to Los Angeles for a year when she was 15 “to pursue acting,” he continued. “She lived with a 22-year-old friend of the family and put herself in high school and found her way to auditions and classes all on her own. I think the result of her unstructured upbringing was a determination that her children would always have a mother there backing them up.”
Despite her unstable childhood, he says, “As crazy as her life was in Woody Creek, Felicity’s family is very close. She talks to at least one of her siblings almost daily and one of the joys of my life was being accepted into the Huffman clan. Felicity’s family is her world.”
The couple had their daughter, Sophia, 19, in 2000. They had their daughter Georgia, 17, in 2002.
“From the day we learned that Sophia Grace Macy was on her way, Felicity threw herself into parenting,” Macy wrote on Huffman’s behalf. “She read mountains of books and sought out of the best and the brightest on the subject. She sought out parents whose children impressed her and picked their brains on child-rearing.”
He went on to explain the two “worried about raising our girls in Hollywood with working actors as parents, so we decided to keep them as far away from our business as possible.”
“Watching Felicity being a mother is a wonderful thing to see,” Macy wrote. “But motherhood has, from the very beginning, frightened Felicity and she has not carried being a mom easily. She’s struggled to find the balance between what the experts say and her common sense.”
Macy revealed that he, his wife, and the girls have been in family therapy since the actress’s arrest.
“There is much to be done, and some of the hurt and anger will take years to work through, but we are making progress,” he wrote. “Thank you, Your Honor. If I may I’d like to tell you one more thing: every good thing in my life is because of Felicity Huffman.”
Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Silva Megerditchian, CEO of SLM Law, says the judge will absolutely read Huffman's character letters (she has 27, including one from Eva Longoria) on her behalf. Megerditchian explains:
"In any type of criminal case, when a judge is considering sentencing someone to jail, the judge will consider arguments and letters from both the prosecution and defense. Along with that, the judge will read and consider any character letters submitted on behalf of the defendant to see the type of person he or she is in the community," she says.
"The judge has a sentencing memo from the prosecution asking for one month of jail and has a sentencing memo from the defense asking for one-year probation and community service. The judge does absolutely consider character letters submitted on behalf of the defendant for purposes of sentencing. In this case, William H. Macy’s letter allows the judge to see who Felicity is in a way that no one else can. This will absolutely be taken into consideration when the judge decides the right sentence for her. His letter explains why someone in Felicity’s position may have done what she did with a humanistic approach. For example, stating she always asked parents for advice so she could try to be a better mother, and sometimes lacking 'common sense' for wanting to be the best mom. In this case, it does offer an explanation for why Felicity partook in a cheating scheme."
Megerditchian says the letter also stresses Huffman is sorry for her actions.
"Felicity’s letter also allowed the judge to understand she is apologetic — that she is taking responsibility and understands she was wrong. Taken together, her taking responsibility and her husband explaining why someone, who has never been arrested before, would do something like this, will undoubtedly have an effect — a positive effect — on a sentencing judge.”
Huffman is set to be sentenced Friday.