Tommy Chong of “Cheech & Chong” fame has a message for Felicity Huffman, who is facing time in federal prison for her part in a bribery scheme to secure her daughter a place at USC. Chong, who spent nine months behind bars himself, says that it really wasn’t too bad.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Chong, 80, who went to prison in 2003 for running a company which sold bongs through the mail, wants Huffman to know that his time in prison led him to meet some nice people. He said it was harder being under investigation than it was serving his time.
“We were under investigation for about a year. The DEA would come around and some of them would have brush cuts and headbands on. They would follow me around,” Chong said.
Chong’s lawyer had asked for community service to avoid time behind bars, but the federal prosecutor insisted he serve some time in exchange for not pursuing charges against his wife and son.
But the Up In Smoke actor said that it wasn’t an entirely negative experience.
“That’s why I want to tell Felicity Huffman relax. You’re going on a mission. I swear to God. There’s no punishment in the federal prison. You get a computer. You get a nice comfortable cubicle. You’re in there with nice, intelligent people,” he explained.
Chong says that he met The Wolf of Wall Street writer Jordan Belfort in prison, and was impressed.
“He’s a genius. Without a doubt. A little crooked, but a genius,” Chong said.
Chong was writing a book, and Belfort decided that he would give writing a try too. The comedic actor was asked to read some sample chapters for Belfort, and gave him a tough review.
“He got really mad. He got hurt. He said, ‘What should I write?’ And I told him, ‘Write the stories you’ve been telling me every night!’ Every night he’d tell me a different story and they were crazy! The quaalude story and all the stuff that happened. Write that. That’s your book!'” Chong revealed.
Both men served their time, and when they were each released on probation, they were not allowed to be in contact, but Chong says that Belfort came around, honked his horn, and yelled that he had sold his book, and it was going to be made into a movie.
Felicity Huffman took a plea deal in the college bribery scandal which might send her to federal prison, while actor Lori Loughlin and her husband are rolling the dice on a trial.