Actor Chris O’Dowd told BuzzFeed News he was surprised to learn about the college admissions scandal involving Felicity Huffman and was equally shocked that his Get Shorty co-star was sentenced to 14 days in prison.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s pretty terrible,” O’Dowd said on BuzzFeed News’ Twitter morning show AM to DM. “It’s awful...Of course it’s surprising. It was surprising for everybody.”
O’Dowd and Huffman play characters on the TV series Get Shorty, a show based on the 1990 novel, which is currently airing its third season. O’Dowd stars as Miles Daly, a former mobster who moved with his family to Hollywood to get involved in the film industry. Huffman acts as FBI Special Agent Clara Dillard.
“Like, what absolutely insane news,” O’Dowd continued. “You know, I feel for her. What she’s done is wrong, but God, I do feel for her.”
In May, Huffman pleaded guilty to fraud charges for paying $15,000 to get her daughter’s college entrance test answers corrected as a way to raise her score. In addition to being sentenced to 14 days in prison, Huffman was ordered to pay a $30,000 fine, perform 250 hours of community service, and serve one year of supervised release.
Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen said Huffman had to be held accountable for her actions.
"With all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood," Rosen said in court. "There's no instruction manual. Parenthood is exhausting and stressful, but that's what every parent goes through."
In a letter to Judge Indira Talwani, Huffman wrote that she originally sought the help of the scheme’s ringleader Rick Singer as a college counselor and didn’t plan to do anything illegal.
"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," Huffman wrote. "I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair."
The actor was the first parent to be sentenced in the high-profile court case that’s brought about charges for dozens of wealthy parents, including Lori Loughlin of Full House fame.
After her sentencing, Huffman said in a statement that she would try to live "a more honest life."
"I broke the law,” she said. "There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period."