Sentencing day for actress Felicity Huffman in ‘Varsity Blues’ college entrance scam

first_imgKuzma/iStock(BOSTON) — Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is set to be sentenced on Friday for federal crimes stemming from the massive “Varsity Blues” college entrance scam, and prosecutors are asking a judge to send her to prison. Huffman, 56, will learn her fate when she appears in U.S. District Court in Boston in front Judge Indira Talwani, to whom she has pleaded for leniency. Earlier this month, Huffman’s lawyers filed legal papers asking Talwani to not send the Oscar-nominated actress to prison, writing that “nothing about her history and characteristics require a prison sentence.”Huffman’s lawyers have asked Talwani to impose a one-year probation term, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine. But federal prosecutors have asked the judge to sentence Huffman to one month of incarceration, followed by 12 months of supervised release and a fine of $20,000.“She is remorseful — indeed, deeply ashamed — about what she did,” Huffman’s lawyers stated in court documents.On March 13, a federal indictment was unsealed charging 50 people, including Huffman and more than 30 other wealthy parents, in the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.The indictment alleges the parents paid bribes to William “Rick” Singer, a college-entrance tutor guru whom prosecutors identified as the ringleader of the nationwide scam, to get their children into elite colleges, including Stanford, the University of Southern California, Princeton and Georgetown.Singer, 59, who prosecutors said collected $25 million in bribes during the years-long scam, pleaded guilty in March to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice. He’s yet to be sentenced.Also indicted was actress Lori Loughlin — best known as Aunt Becky on the ABC sitcom Full House — and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who are fighting charges they paid Singer $500,000 to get their two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, into USC as recruits for the university’s crew team, despite the fact they’d never participated in the sport.Huffman pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of conspiring to commit mail fraud and honest service mail fraud and admitted that she paid Singer $15,000 to falsify her daughter Sophia’s SAT score.“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done. I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” Huffman tearfully said as she pleaded guilty in court on May 13.Thirteen other defendants also have agreed to plead guilty.Huffman’s lawyers have presented Talwani with letters vouching for her from the actress’ relatives, including her husband, actor William H. Macy, and former colleagues such as Eva Longoria, a fellow cast member on Desperate Housewives.Huffman and Macy later allegedly made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for their younger daughter, before deciding not to do so, according to court documents. Macy was not charged in the scam.“To be sure, Felicity’s relationship with her daughters exploded on March 12th and rebuilding that relationship will be a long process. But I also want you to know Felicity has raised two amazing young women,” Macy wrote in his letter to Talwani.“After her arrest Felicity found a wonderful family therapist and we’ve all been going (in various combinations) for the last few months,” Macy wrote. “There is much to be done, and some of the hurt and anger will take years to work through, but we are making progress.”In court documents filed last week, federal prosecutors demanded that Huffman serve prison time.“Huffman’s conduct was deliberate and manifestly criminal: It was wrong, she knew it was wrong, and she actively participated in manipulating her daughter’s guidance counselor, the testing services and the schools to which her daughter applied,” prosecutors wrote in court documents filed last Friday.Prosecutors, according to the documents, argued that Huffman should serve time behind bars and that “neither probation nor home confinement (in a large home in the Hollywood Hills with an infinity pool) would constitute meaningful punishment or deter others from committing similar crimes.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Lessons of the Week! Kelli O’Hara, Lin-Manuel Miranda & More

first_imgHappy Friday the 13th! While you’re off avoiding black cats, broken mirrors and ladders, take some time to catch up on the wackiest news from this week on the Great White Way. It’s been a wild ride for the past seven days, so there’s a lot to take in. From a forgetful genius to a totally committed lion, we’ve got you covered with the Lessons of the Week!Kelli O’Hara is Her Own PercussionThe Worm is so last season. While taking a seat on the Broadway.com couch with her King and I co-star Hoon Lee, Tony winner Kelli O’Hara revealed that whenever she feels afraid she clacks her teeth in lieu of whistling a happy tune. Think the entire ensemble of Stomp, but it’s Kelli O’Hara’s mouth. It’s very impressive…and cringe-worthy to those with gum sensitivity.Lin-Manuel Has Too Much On His MindWe know, we know. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius. He can make U.S. history cool. He can rhyme “askance” with “pants.” He can rattle off Camelot for Charlie Rose. However, the man behind Hamilton doesn’t know his Social Security Number. We totally understand. Nine digits is a lot to handle when entire scores are floating around in your head. At least he knows his name. What’s your name, man?David Alan Grier Is a Method LionThe Wiz Live! is just weeks away from easing on down the road to NBC, and Tony nominee David Alan Grier is already in costume. And, uh, we don’t think he’s taking it off any time soon. “I actually went to the Central Park Zoo and I was put in a cage with lions, just to get their movements,” he said recently. That seems like a good way to get in character as a lion, but not exactly cowardly.LuPone & Ebersole Will Make UpPatti LuPone’s been Christian Dior-ed from her head to her toes, and Christine Ebersole knows that the best kind of clothes for a protest pose is this ensemble of pantyhose. Now, after teaching us all about fashion on the Broadway stage, the Tony-winning duo will explore the world of cosmetics in War Paint, premiering in Chicago in June 2016. On that note, we’ll be in Chicago in June if you need us.Sierra Boggess Loved Being MiserableSome say Fantine’s life is miserables (you know, the job, the haircut, the prostitution, the death, etc.) But not Sierra! According to the School of Rock darling, that Les Miz role was “the greatest, most fun time” of her life. Well sure—you have all that downtime backstage between dying and coming back as a ghost! Just be careful; that mid-show break got a certain cosmetic stalwart in trouble.Matt Ryan Also Loved Being MiserableMove over, Sierra. You’re not the only one who enjoys singing and dying in a three-hour French epic. Before Thérèse Raquin star/heartthrob Matt Ryan was jumping into onstage rivers, he was slumming in Saint Michele, living on crumbs of humble piety in the West End around the age of 10. We’re thrilled he’s back on stage a couple decades later, looking dapper as ever.Jay Kuo Needs to Aim “Higher”Someone needs to update his vision board. At the opening night of his new musical Allegiance, composer Jay Kuo told us that when he was a kid, he’d listen to the Miss Saigon album constantly, hoping to one day meet Lea Salonga. Now, he’s writing songs about swinging higher for her. It’s like The Secret on steroids!Nina Arianda Is a Red Sock ThiefWhen we asked you to submit questions for Fool for Love stars Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell’s visit to Broadway.com HQ, we inadvertently got involved in some unexpected family drama. Arianda’s dad got in on the action by getting Rockwell to ask her if she stole his red socks. She did, and she’s not giving them back. Sorry, Nina’s dad. Will you settle for some red kinky boots instead?We’re on a Cake!Oh my gaw. BROADWAY.COM. WE’RE ON A CAKE! Lesli Margherita’s Looks Not Books spinoff Dames at Sea vlog has sailed away for good, but not before giving us a glimpse of the oh-so-nautical opening night party at Sardi’s (Lesli was even permitted inside!) And Ship Happens (and, by proxy, us) have officially made it by making an appearance at the base of the cake! Fame tastes so sweet.There’s a Psycho B’way Family ReunionThey don’t need a life that’s normal; that’s way too far away. And it’s probably better that way, because a life with investment bankers with serial killer tendencies is definitely not normal. Alice Ripley and Jennifer Damiano, after playing mother and daughter in Next to Normal, will appear in American Psycho on Broadway this spring. And no, Jenn, we don’t know who’s going to vlog for us yet 😉 View Comments Star Filescenter_img Sierra Boggesslast_img read more

Underfunding no argument for assisted dying

first_imgNewsRoom 23 July 2020Family First Comment: Superb article from palliative care specialist Dr Sinead Donnelly…“Every week as doctors we see cases where disabled, sick or mentally ill patients will, at their most vulnerable point, contemplate suicide. With the right care and medicine the vast majority are brought out of this vulnerable state to a place of health. Under the proposed Act, those same people could be dead within 72 hours.As doctors caring for people who are dying every day we know the difference that this legislation will make to vulnerable people. It will expose the vulnerable to the extraordinary burden of a duty to die. We are voting no and we invite you to join us in opposing this Act.”Arguing for assisted dying legislation on the basis NZ’s palliative care is underfunded is like saying that the car needs a clean so should be pushed off a cliff, writes Dr Sinéad DonnellyIn recent weeks there have been unsubstantiated claims in New Zealand media by pro-euthanasia, retired doctors or ‘veteran medical specialists’ around the End of Life Choice Act, which will be voted on during the upcoming referendum.As specialist doctors trained in palliative medicine and currently practising in New Zealand, we’re extremely concerned at their argument in favour of euthanasia. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous.First, they argue in favour of euthanasia because, in their words, palliative care has been “underfunded from the start and access and quality are patchy”. They say that aged residential staff “are overworked and often poorly trained in palliative care for the dying”. In other words, they want us to vote at the referendum in favour of euthanasia due to inadequacy and inequity of palliative care and inadequate aged residential care staffing.This is a little like arguing that the car needs a clean so should be pushed off a cliff.When have we, as a society, agreed to prematurely end the lives of patients due to poor funding? In any other situation that would be called callous and unacceptable. It certainly doesn’t pass the kindness test.The second irresponsible statement is that “the End of Life Choice Act is one of the safest in the world”. It is not. The Act’s claimed protection against pressure from “another person” is poorly drafted and provides inadequate levels of protection to vulnerable New Zealanders. For example, the Act requires only one doctor (the first doctor to whom a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide is made) to only “do his or her best” to ensure that person requesting euthanasia has expressed their wish “free from pressure” by “any other person”.The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, the very doctors who are also going to be on the front line of the process, told Parliament they won’t be able to detect coercion or pressure in all cases with this test, and that there will be wrongful deaths under this law. To wit:“The College … considers clause (h) where the medical practitioner is required to ‘do his or her best to ensure that the person expresses his or her wish free from pressure’ is problematic. As one member wrote: ‘It will prove impossible to determine if a patient is ‘free from coercion’. What criteria will doctors use to determine whether or not coercion exists? If patients request assisted death, there is no provision in the Bill as to what a doctor should do if she or he thinks that coercion is actually present. Coercion of patients will be impossible to discern in every request for assisted death. Doctors will not be 100 percent correct in their assessments of coercion. Wrongful deaths will be the result of this proposed new law.’”READ MORE: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/underfunding-no-argument-for-assisted-dyinglast_img read more

Clippers’ Marreese Speights happy to earn more opportunities

first_imgAnd a Mo Speights with confidence is a Mo Speights ready to get buckets.He hit three 3-point shots in the Clippers’ comeback, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. And, in a surprise, Rivers elected to reward Speights by closing out the Bulls with him on the floor instead of All-NBA center DeAndre Jordan.“He was huge,” Rivers said.Sacramento coach Dave Joerger used that word – “huge” – to describe the impact Speights would have on the Clippers. And, as he sat between Blake Griffin and Chris Paul postgame, those players seemed to know it too, with Paul smiling and snapping pictures as Speights answered questions.“On nights like tonight where things may not be going your way offensively, you need something to get you going, and his offensive energy and offensive bursts are what I think brought us back and eventually gave us the lead,” J.J. Redick said. “He‘s going to win us some games this year.”And, Saturday was one of them. LOS ANGELES >> Marreese Speights, the player fans and teammates lovingly call “Mo Buckets,” wasn’t sure he was going to get any mo’ minutes.Doc Rivers had seen enough in 4 minutes and 11 seconds to decide that it wasn’t going to be Speights’ half, and as the reserve big man walked to the Clipper bench, it was clear that he wasn’t happy.This, Speights thought, is the opposite of the reason why he was so excited to join the Clippers this offseason. The plan, he said on media day back in October, was to make Mo Buckets even bigger in Los Angeles.“It’s a bigger market, an opportunity to come to a team with a chance to be great,” he said Saturday. “…I understood coming here, I’m going to have a consistent role. I get to do what I do, not look over my back, and just hoop.” And, now, here he was, sitting on the bench, looking over his back.“It felt bad. I kind of went back to (that place),” Speights said. “But, I had to understand and put that aside, that I was going to have another chance to come in.”And, that chance came as a result of a seemingly inconsequential decision late in the first half. The move won back Speights’ confidence and, probably, won the Clippers their 12th game this season.With 9 seconds left in the first half, the Clippers forced a shot-clock violation, allowing Rivers to call a timeout to try and get a score on the final possession of the half. And, in that timeout, he put Speights back in the game.“Believe it or not, the last (nine) seconds when Coach put me in at the end of the first half, that felt great,” Speights said. “I was like, ‘oh yeah, I’ll get another chance.’ Little stuff like that helped my confidence and really helped me.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Chelsea paying for Champions League gain – Hazard

first_imgEden HazardLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard believes the English champions’ defence of their title was always going to be compromised by a return to Champions League football this season.Despite the Belgian’s 13th goal of the season, Chelsea crumbled to a 4-1 defeat at Watford on Monday night to remain fourth in the Premier League, 19 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.Full-time: Watford 4-1 Chelsea.#WATCHE pic.twitter.com/lmwNoWb8cL— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 5, 2018“I think the Premier League is difficult. It is hard to win every year,” Hazard told ESPN FC.“Last year we didn’t have the Champions League. This year we have less time to be ready for the games. Every week there are three games.”Despite speculation intensifying over his future, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte dismissed suggestions of tiredness for his side’s struggles as an excuse.“The winner finds a solution, the loser finds excuses. In my life I like to be a winner and I am a winner,” said the Italian.However, with his job on the line, Chelsea face a season defining few weeks after West Brom’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Monday.A home tie against Hull City in the FA Cup fifth round is followed by the visit of Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on February 20, before trips to both Manchester United and City in the league and then the return Champions League leg at the Camp Nou on March 14.Chelsea debut, @_OlivierGiroud_! ?Can he make the difference in the final 20 minutes? #WATCHE pic.twitter.com/uOncsp41zM — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 5, 2018 Next up for the Blues… pic.twitter.com/51eiCCRYzG— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 7, 2018Conte has repeatedly voiced his displeasure at the club’s recruitment strategy following the departure of key players in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign such as Diego Costa and Nemanja Vidic.Tiemoue Bakayoko’s poor first season in England following a big money move from Monaco continued as he was sent-off after just half an hour at Watford, whilst club record signing Alvaro Morata has struggled to fill Costa’s shoes due to a mixture of inconsistent form and injury.However, with no side having retained the Premier League since 2009, Hazard believes it is the unpredictability of England’s top flight that makes it so attractive to players and fans around the world.“We changed a couple of things, we lost players, we brought some new ones and every year is different,” he added.“That’s why we love football, if there is only one team that wins it would be boring.“That’s why football is special. You never know what’s going to happen, especially in England.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more