Actress Felicity Huffman was released from federal prison in Northern California on Friday after serving under two weeks for her role in a massive college admissions scandal.
Huffman was set to be released from prison on Sunday, according to prison records, even though that was the 13th day of her sentence. She was released Friday as is normal policy for inmates who are set to be released on weekends, according to a prison official.
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Huffman, a one-time Oscar nominee and the wife of actor William H. Macy, was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and perform 250 hours of community service under the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani last month. Court documents show she has paid the fine.
A photo of Huffman, whose prison number was 77806-112, emerged earlier this week. In it, she is wearing eyeglasses, black Under Armour shoes, a white hat, a watch and a dark green button-up and pants.
Martha Stewart, who was sentenced to prison in 2004 for lying to investigators about a stock sale, commented on the photos of Huffman in prison during a talk at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit on Tuesday. “Well she should style her outfit a little bit more,” Stewart said, laughing. “She looked pretty schlumpy.” Stewart added that Huffman made a “horrible mistake” and is suffering the consequences of that mistake.
The 56-year-old actress admitted to paying for someone to proctor and correct her daughter’s college board test, which resulted in the score jumping 400 points above her PSAT performance to 1420 out of a possible 1600.
The FBI probe, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” found that well-heeled parents had paid ringleader Rick Singer to get their children into elite universities by boosting their college board exam scores or passing them off as top athletes worthy of special admission.
Prominent U.S. universities involved in Singer’s scheme included Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion-designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are also among the 50 people charged in the scheme.
Eleven of the 15 parents still facing charges, including Loughlin and Giannulli, were hit Tuesday with new charges in a third indictment. The latest charge against the 11 parents is conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling of the District of Massachusetts, who is prosecuting the case, said he believes Loughlin should get a tougher sentence than the 14 days handed down to Huffman.
Doha Madani contributed.