Boston (USA) September 10: Days after Felicity Huffman pleaded with a Boston federal judge to spare her jail time for her connection to the college admissions bribery scandal, "The View" hosts blasted the actress on Monday's show, saying the "Desperate Housewives" alum "deserves to go to jail."
Whoopi Goldberg opened up the panel by asking attorney and fellow co-host, Sunny Hostin, her thoughts on Huffman's three-page letter to U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani.
In Friday's plea, Huffman said she was trying to give her daughter, whom she says has a diagnosed learning disability and struggles with math, an opportunity to become an actress. She also asked for probation, community service and a fine instead of jail time.
"... Felicity Huffman, the prosecutors are recommending one month and she is saying that that is too much time. That is not too much time, I think because she's arguing really that this is a victimless crime, and it isn't because another kid didn't get into that school," Sunny Hostin said. "Her kid took a seat that another kid deserved, and that's the problem.
"She changed the life of someone else that was more deserving of the spot and I think that's the problem and judges know that, and this judge has to send a message to the community that this is not right," Hostin continued. "She had wealth, privilege and platform and she didn't use it appropriately.
Echoed Joy Behar: "Let's face it -- she's rich, she's entitled, and she tried to game the system."
The co-hosts then discussed Huffman's husband, William H. Macy -- who wasn't charged in the scheme -- and his letter to the court on his wife's behalf.
Macy detailed his family's struggles in the wake of the scandal, saying that his wife hasn't been able to find work since she was arrested six months ago and her daughter, now in college, has been taking a gap year. He also said Huffman's younger daughter, who is in high school is attending therapy.
"[M]otherhood has, from the very beginning, frightened Felicity and she has not carried being a mom easily," he wrote (via The Hollywood Reporter). "She's struggled to find the balance between what experts say and her common sense."
"Welcome to the club, okay?" Behar said. "Who wrote that speech? It's like out of 'Desperate Housewives.'"
"Struggling to be a mom doesn't mean you break the law," added Meghan McCain. "Like I had a hard time even understanding what the hell William H. Macy was even talking about."
McCain went on to explain that as the only person on "The View" panel who isn't a mom she has "a lot of fears about possibly becoming a mother," however, she noted that she doesn't "think that makes you bribe someone to break the law."
"I don't understand the logical explanation," she said. "They are the poster children for what everyone hates about white privilege and she deserves to go to jail ... I'm sorry, for a long period of time. For over a month."
Echoed Hostin: "The other problem I saw with his letter is he said something about how the FBI came in in the morning with guns drawn and how his other daughter still can't sleep at night. And he sort of makes this argument that we're not that kind of criminal.
"And so it's yet again this sort of privilege, like, don't treat us like that," she continued. "Well, you are a criminal. You've pled guilty. And that's not going to ring well for the judge either. Well, what kind of criminal are you? Shouldn't you be treated the same as any other criminal?"
Huffman is among 51 people charged in a scheme in which prosecutors say wealthy parents paid an admissions consultant to bribe coaches and test administrators to help their children get into prestigious colleges.
The 56-year-old Emmy Award winner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in May. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 13.
Huffman's lawyers believe that one year of probation, 250 hours of community service with an organization that works with at-risk youth in Los Angeles and a $20,000 fine is fair, asserting that similar cases "almost always" result in probation rather than jail time which is "exceptionally rare."
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is pushing for one month of jail time, a year of probation after that and a $20,000 fine, a sentence he says takes into account the fact that Huffman has accepted responsibility for her actions.
Lelling says Huffman knew the scheme was wrong and participated in it anyways.
"Her efforts weren't driven by need or desperation, but by a sense of entitlement, or at least moral cluelessness, facilitated by wealth and insularity," his office wrote in its filing Friday. "Millions of parents send their kids to college every year. All of them care as much she does about their children's fortunes. But they don't buy fake SAT scores."
Under federal sentencing guidelines, prosecutors could have sought up to six months of jail time.
Huffman's bribe is among the smaller ones. "Full House" star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are charged with paying $500,000 for their two daughters to get into elite universities. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges which include conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering and are facing maximum jail sentences of 40 years in prison.
Source: Fox News