When news broke about Felicity Huffman’s involvement in the college admissions scandal, diehard Desperate Housewives fans couldn’t help but point out the parallels between the real-life situation and a 2004 episode in which the actress’ character, Lynette Scavo, paid to get her children into a private school.
Although many viewers remembered the season 1 story line with ease, the creator behind the hit ABC dramedy, Marc Cherry, apparently forgot all about it.
“That was a bizarre coincidence,” Cherry, 57, told Us Weekly exclusively during the premiere of his new CBS All Access show, Why Women Kill, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, August 7. “I had even forgotten about that episode, to tell you the truth. That had been in the first season. So, that was just a weird thing that the fans had to remind me of.”
The episode, titled “Come In, Stranger,” saw Lynette and her husband, Tom (Doug Savant), weighing options to give their twin boys an edge over other students who applied to a prestigious school. Lynette told Tom that “a generous donation will ensure our kids beat ‘em out” before the characters ultimately settled on a payment of $15,000 — which, oddly enough, is the same amount that Huffman, 56, has been accused of paying to help her eldest daughter, Sophia, 19, get into college in real life.
“I love Felicity Huffman deeply. She is one of the kindest, most professional people I’ve ever worked for, and I just feel terrible about the current situation,” Cherry told Us on Wednesday. “I’m just crossing my fingers that everything is resolved for her as quickly as possible.”
Huffman was among the 51 people indicted in March in the Operation Varsity Blues case. The Oscar nominee “made arrangements to pursue the scheme for a second time” with her younger daughter, Georgia, 17, but ultimately opted “not to do so,” according to court documents. Her husband, William H. Macy, has not been indicted.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community,” she said in an April 8 statement to Us. “I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”
With reporting by Emily Marcus