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David Mamet defends Felicity Huffman for alleged involvement in college admissions scam

50 charged in huge college admissions scandal
College admissions cheating scandal: Feds charge 50 people including celebrities 03:31

Playwright David Mamet said his longtime friend, "Desperate Housewives" actress Felicity Huffman, should get a slap on the wrist for her alleged involvement in a massive college admissions scam. "If ever there were a use for the Texas Verdict, this is it," Mamet wrote in an open letter to the Hollywood Reporter Tuesday. "For the uninitiated, the Texas Verdict is: 'Not Guilty, but Don't do it Again.'"

Huffman and 49 other people, including "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin, were charged in the scam, which Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said was the largest ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, who has not been charged, was in court as his wife was charged with conspiracy and posted a $250,000 bond, CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports.

Mamet has known the couple for decades. "I'm crazy about them both," he wrote.

The writer, who has been nominated for two Oscars, said the admissions scam was similar to colleges admitting students because their parents made large donations. "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," Mamet said.

Legal fallout for parents involved in biggest college admissions scam ever 02:53

Authorities said Huffman paid $15,000 for her older daughter's answers to be changed on the SAT. The plan relied upon the daughter taking the test at a specific center with a specific proctor.

"Ruh Ro! Looks like [my daughter's high school] wants to provide own proctor," Huffman allegedly wrote in an email to William Singer, the college prep company CEO who cooperated with the government and pleaded guilty Tuesday to running the scam. Huffman's daughter eventually took the test at a center that Singer said he "controlled," and she scored a 1420, according to court documents.

Mamet characterized Huffman's alleged actions as a momentary lapse in judgment. "That a parent's zeal for her children's future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment," he said, "is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon."

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