The "Desperate Housewives" star was one of around 50 people indicted by U.S. federal authorities on Tuesday, March 12 for allegedly taking part in a nationwide scheme in which exam administrators or athletics coaches were given cash to get their kids into elite universities.
William was not named in the indictment but the couple were accused of making a bogus charitable donation of $15,000 (£11,400) to help bump up the test scores of their eldest daughter Sofia.
In an open letter to The Hollywood Reporter, the famed playwright and screenwriter defended the couple, stating that it was America's college admissions system that is rotten, not his pals.
"That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon." Read David Mamet's open letter on the Felicity Huffman scandal: https://t.co/U65JW2osGH— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 13, 2019
After citing his experience of working in and around universities, he wrote: "The unqualified may be accepted for many reasons, among them, as Legacies, and on account of large donations made by their parents. I do not see the difference between getting a kid into school by bribing the Building Committee, and by bribing someone else. But, apparently, the second is against the Law. So be it."
He pointed out that he had known William for 50 years, and Felicity for 35, and that he is "crazy about them both".
Concluding his letter, David pleaded: "That a parent's zeal for her children's future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon. If ever there were a use for the Texas Verdict, this is it. For the uninitiated, the Texas Verdict is: "Not Guilty, but Don't do it Again."
Felicity, 56, appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon, and was released on $250,000 (£190,000) bail subject to travel restrictions.
"Full House" star Lori Loughlin was also charged in connection with the scheme. She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 (£380,000) to scam the University of Southern California into believing their two daughters would be joining the school's rowing team.