Eva Longoria wrote a letter supporting her Desperate Housewives co-star Felicity Huffman in her college admissions scandal. Longoria was among the 27 people who wrote letters supporting Huffman in response to prosecutors recommending the actress be sentenced to one month in jail, 12 months of supervised release and a $20,000 fine.
Longoria wrote about the "numbers wonderful memories" she shares with Huffman in the two-page letter, obtained by PEOPLE.
“I worked with Felicity for nearly a decade of my life on a television show. Seeing her every day of every week for nearly 15 hours a day," Longoria wrote. "When I began the TV show, I was very new to the business and industry as a whole. Felicity was the first one to take me under her wing."
Longoria said she was "scared and unsure" during the first table read for Desperate Housewives, but Huffman's “gentle character and kind heart” assured Longoria she would fit in. Huffman even intervened when Longoria was being bullied by a co-worker.
Longoria added that Huffman was supportive when Longoria was the only star on the show not nominated for a Golden Globe in 2005. Huffman told Longoria the award was "only a piece of metal" and missing a nomination did not mean she was not talented.
“I was the only one who was left out of the nominations. I wasn’t devastated but the press made it a bigger deal than it was between the four of us actors and that did affect me a bit. Felicity came to my trailer and said, ‘It’s just a piece of metal, that and $1.50 will get you a bus ticket,'" Longoria recalled. "She then proceeded to tell me how talented I was and how I never needed an award to know that. Her humor always made things better, but it was her heart and intentions to make sure I was always OK that I remember most. I don’t know why she always felt like she had to protect me. Maybe because I was the youngest on the cast or naive about the industry; whatever it was, I am forever grateful."
"I know I would not have survived those years if it wasn’t for the friendship of Felicity," Longoria wrote. "I also know these things may sound like first class problems or small insignificant moments. But to a young, naive, Mexican girl who felt like I didn’t belong, those gestures meant the world to me. She mattered. And everything she did to help along the way, mattered."
Longoria said Huffman's nature was "to be kind and supportive" and was "strong" and "bold" during Desperate Housewives contract negotiations. She revealed it was Huffman's idea that the main stars negotiate together to make sure all leading stars earned the same salary.
Huffman also supported the same charities as Longoria.
“The most special part about this is that my charities were always for children of the Latino community. I did the work because I am Latino, but Felicity didn’t have to, she wanted to,” Longoria wrote. “There were so many times Felicity was the only white woman in the room helping me improve the lives of these brown faces and families. I will never forget that.”
At the end of her letter, Longoria wrote, "She always leads with her heart and has always put others first. This is why I still call her my friend today and always.”
Back in March, Huffman was one of the celebrities indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection to the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the department. According to prosecutors, Huffman paid $15,000 to a company called The Key Worldwide Foundation to help eldest daughter Sofia, 18, get high SAT scores. Huffman agreed to plead guilty in May.
“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,” the sentencing memorandum reads. “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.”
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