UPDATE: May 22, 2020, at 2:15 p.m.: Lori Loughlin has officially been sentenced to two months in prison by a federal judge, while her husband Mossimo Giannulli will serve five. In addition, Loughlin and Giannulli will have to keep up the monetary and community service requirements of their original plea deals. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin O’Connell told the court via Zoom that “Loughlin opted to cheat so her children could steal two admissions spots from more capable, deserving students.” According to the Associated Press, he insisted on prison time to demonstrate that “everyone, no matter your status, is accountable in our justice system.”UPDATE: May 22, 2020, at 2:15 p.m.: Lori Loughlin—arguably the face of the college admissions scandal—has officially pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, according to E! Online. Loughlin reportedly entered her plea via Zoom video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on the plea agreement, which was made public on May 21, she will serve two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, and have a two-year supervised release.UPDATE: May 21, 2020, at 9:36 a.m.: Loughlin will reportedly plead guilty to her charges in the college admissions scandal, according to Variety. Per People, both she and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will plead guilty. She will serve two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, and have a two-year supervised release, and he will serve five months, pay a $250,000 fine, and have a two-year supervised release.“Under the plea agreements filed today, these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process and which are consistent with prior sentences in this case,” United States attorney Andrew E. Lelling said, according to People.. “We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions.”UPDATE: January 4, 2020, at 3:45 p.m.: According to reports, Lori Loughlin has hired a “prison expert” to help her prepare for the possibility of time behind bars.“She has someone who is advising her what to do in case she loses her case and goes to prison,” a source tells People. “The adviser is there to help her learn the ropes. That’s not to be construed that she thinks she’s going to lose her case. Lori is a planner, and she is doing what she needs to do for all contingencies.”According to the source, the prison expert is teaching Loughlin, who is facing the possibility of 45 years in prison, about all the different social interactions she may have while incarcerated.“Here on the outside, eye contact is a good thing,” the source said. “You meet someone and you shake their hands and stare them in the eyes. In prison, you might not do that. You don’t want to challenge someone.”People also reports that the actor wants to use her potential jail sentence as a time to grow. “She wants to understand what the experience will be like, and how to not only survive it, but flourish in it,” the source said. “She is looking at this whole thing as a learning experience, and this is one more thing that she’s trying to learn.”UPDATE: December 2, 2019, at 7:30 a.m.: Lori Loughlin‘s daughter, Olivia Jade, made a return to YouTube for the first time since news of the college cheating scandal broke in March. The two-minute video titled “hi again” already has more than a million views, though the influencer made it clear she cannot speak about the legal case facing her parents. “Hi everybody, it’s Olivia Jade. Welcome back to my YouTube channel. Obviously, I’ve been gone for a really long time,” she said.”There’s no point in me just talking for 10 minutes to the camera about how I wish I could say something when I really can’t, so I’m gonna leave it at that,” she continued. “Thank you so much for your patience or if you’ve stuck around for nine months just waiting, I really appreciate it.”“This is the best I can do and I want to move on with my life,” Olivia Jade said. “It’s so hard because I’m not trying to make this about me or how I’ve been because that’s not the point of this.”UPDATE: November 2, 2019, at 1:30 p.m.: Lori Loughlin (and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli) pleaded not guilty to new charges filed against them, according to the New York Times. The additional federal bribery charges can carry a sentence of up to five years. “Lawyers involved in the case have said prosecutors brought the new charges in part out of frustration with the sentences given out in the case so far, which have ranged from probation to five months in prison, and have all been less than what prosecutors had asked for,” the Times writes.UPDATE: October 25, 2019, at 11:23 a.m.: TMZ reports that Felicity Huffman was released from prison on Friday, October 25. She served only 11 days of her 14-day sentence. Apparently, inmates whose release date falls on a weekend get released the Friday before. Huffman has already paid the $30,000 fine in connection with her plea but still has to perform 250 hours of community service.UPDATE: October 15, 2019, at 12:56 p.m.: NBC News reports that Felicity Huffman reported to a federal prison in California on October 15 to start her 14-day sentence. She’s not expected to get early release. “Ms. Huffman is prepared to serve the term of imprisonment Judge Talwani ordered as one part of the punishment she imposed for Ms. Huffman’s actions,” Huffman’s representative told NBC in a statement.UPDATE: September 13, 2019 at 4:07 p.m.: Actress Felicity Huffman was officially sentenced to jail for her role in the college cheating scandal. According to People magazine, the Desperate Housewives actress has been ordered to serve 14 days behind bars, pay a $30,000 fine, and do 250 hours of community service. She’ll also have a supervised release for one year.The sentencing happened at a federal courtroom in Boston, where Huffman was joined by her husband, actor William H. Macy. In May, Huffman pled guilty to charges that she paid to have her daughter’s SAT scores illegally changed. Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, meanwhile, pled not guilty to the charges they paid $500,000 to pass their daughters off as University of Southern California crew recruits. Their legal fate isn’t known at this time.UPDATE: September 29, 2019 at 12 p.m.: Huffman’s daughter, Sophia Grace Macy, wants to retake her SAT, according to TMZ. The outlet reports there’s no evidence the 19-year-old had knowledge that her mother was bribing officials to allow her extra time on the exam and to fix some of her wrong answers, resulting in a higher score. A College Board rep confirmed to TMZ that there’s no reason Sophia Grace shouldn’t be allowed to retake the test and earn her way back into college—especially because other students are generally given only a six-month suspension from the test if any foul play is detected (more than six months have passed since she originally took the SATs).ORIGINAL STORY:When I turned on my computer one day in March, the last story I expected to see was “Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman Are Involved in a College Admissions Scandal,” but here we are. It’s 2019, and Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are very much involved in a college admissions scandal.As CNN reports, a group of wealthy parents allegedly paid a college prep organization to take the SAT/ACT entrance exams on behalf of their children or to correct their answers. There’s also a second part to this scheme, in which college coaches were allegedly bribed into admitting wealthy students as recruited athletes, regardless of their actual abilities. Some defendants even had fake profiles created to make their children look like successful athletes, according to court documents.Per TMZ, this was all funneled through a man named William Rick Singer, who would take parents’ requests—either to fix test scores or create fake athlete profiles—and contact the appropriate parties.Fifty people total were charged in this case, which federal prosecutors dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, including two SAT/ACT administrators, one exam proctor, nine coaches at elite schools, one college administrator, and 33 parents with privileged backgrounds.According to TMZ, Huffman, who played Lynette Scavo on Desperate Housewives, is charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, per court papers. CNN reports Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 to an organization that helped her daughter cheat on the SATs.Loughlin, best known as Aunt Becky on Full House, has the same charges against her. She and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters billed as recruits for the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither of them participates in the sport.“There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy,” U.S. attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said at a press conference Tuesday, March 12. “And I will add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.”People naturally have so many thoughts about this case—and the Desperate Housewives and Full House jokes keep rolling in.On Wednesday, March 13, 24 hours after news of the scandal broke, Lori Loughlin was arrested in Los Angeles after taking an overnight flight back to California from Canada. She faces felony charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.On Thursday, March 14, Hallmark announced it was ending its working relationship with Loughlin, who’s been a mainstay on the network for years. “We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third-party production.” Per The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has also cut ties with Loughlin ahead of the final season of Fuller House.According to People magazine, Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, has “no plans” to return to USC in light of this scandal. “She can’t handle anything right now. She seems more and more upset every day. She just wants to stay home,” a source tells the publication.Sephora severed its working relationship with Giannulli, who’s an influencer and had a collection with the brand, because of what’s going on. “After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” a statement from the company reads.“[Olivia] feels she has worked very hard to get different work deals and everything is just gone,” the source also tells People. ”She thought she knew what the future had in store for her, and it all just crumbled. It’s a never-ending nightmare for her. She understands the serious consequences her parents are facing and she is very scared.” Loughlin’s eldest daughter, Isabella Rose Giannulli, is also a USC student, though it’s unclear whether she’s returning.As of Friday, March 15, Olivia Jade had lost a partnership deal with Tresemmé. Since the college admissions scandal was brought to light, CBS News has confirmed both Loughlin and Huffman have deleted their social media accounts.Nicollette Sheridan, Huffman’s former costar on Desperate Housewives, commented on the scandal to Access Live on March 18. “We don’t know the facts, but we can be extremely disturbed by the entitlement, the power, and money that can take away from less privileged, and that, to me, is disgraceful,” she said. “So we’ll see where it really stands.”She then added, “I think there are ways to remedy a system that isn’t working, and I think it has been broken for a long time. I don’t want to get into how to fix it, but it’s troublesome. It’s troublesome because it can change the life path of a child that is deserving.”Olivia Jade Giannulli and her mother, Lori Loughlin
Getty ImagesEntertainment Tonight published a report on Wednesday, March 20, alleging Loughlin’s daughters are “suffering in their own ways from the fallout of their parents’ decisions.” A source tells the site, “Bella and Olivia have a very tight-knit group of friends who have been there to support them. They’ve needed that support because they’re being attacked at every turn.”Per ET, Olivia is embarrassed by the entire situation. A source says she’s “really angry with her parents because she told them she did not want to go to college and she was pushed.”“She has been passionate about her career and wanted to work and was doing well, but that wasn’t enough,” the source continues. “Her parents said she would have to juggle college and her career. Now she’s devastated because everything she built imploded before her eyes…. She feels they ruined everything.”On Monday, April 8, Huffman announced in a statement that she intended to plead guilty to the charges against her. “I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” she said. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.”Felicity Huffman leaving a Boston courthouse on April 3, 2019.
Getty ImagesAccording to reports, Huffman faced up to 10 months in prison. The fact she is acknowledging her guilt and has no prior convictions was thought to work in her favor, though a plea deal could also involve fines and other non-jail punishments.Loughlin, however, might be facing a heftier sentence. On Tuesday, April 9, she, husband Mossimo Giannulli, and 16 more parents were indicted on an additional felony charge: money laundering. Both of these things could mean more jail time. According to People, she faces up to 40 years in prison, but the actual sentencing will probably be more in line with the other defendants’, which is around three to five years. (If she’s found guilty, that is.)A source tells People magazine that Loughlin is trying to keep her daily routine as normal as possible to stay calm through this crisis. “While waiting for this to come to some conclusion, she’s trying to keep a somewhat regular schedule—going to yoga and Pilates and seeing friends for lunch,” the source says. “She is very faith-based, and she knows her faith will get her through this.”Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, arriving at a Boston courthouse on April 3, 2019
Getty ImagesThe amount of money Huffman and Loughlin allegedly spent in this scandal also plays a factor. Huffman is accused of paying an organization $15,000 to modify her daughter’s SATs scores, while Loughlin and Giannulli spent $500,000 to pass their daughters off as USC crew recruits. Per People, a higher bribe means a harsher sentence.Meanwhile, Us Weekly obtained a statement from USC regarding Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose’s future at the school. Here it is, in full:
USC has placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme. This prevents the students from registering for classes (until they have agreed to participate in the review of their case), withdrawing from the university, or acquiring transcripts while their cases are under review. Among many factors investigators could consider in reviewing each case are any developments in the criminal cases, including plea deals by parents. Following these case-by-case reviews, we will take the proper action related to each student’s status, up to revoking admission or expulsion.
While Huffman accepted a plea deal on April 8, the fate of Loughlin’s legal battle is still unknown, as she and Giannulli have yet to agree to a deal and additional charges have been added to their indictments. “She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by,” a source told E!. “She refused to accept any jail time and thought the D.A. was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn’t do any jail time.”“Lori is finally realizing just how serious this is,” the source continues. “She is seeing the light that she will do jail time and is freaking out.”TMZ broke the news on Monday, April 15, that both Loughlin and Giannulli are pleading not guilty to all the charges against them in this case.On Monday, May 13, Huffman was back in court to officially plead guilty to paying $15,000 to an admissions consultant and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation. People reports that she appeared in court holding hands with her brother and started crying as she reiterated that her daughter knew nothing about the scheme. She will be sentenced on September 13, but prosecutors recommended four months in prison and a $20,000 fine.On Monday, June 10, Huffman was spotted attending her daughter Sophia’s high school graduation. Per Us Weekly, she wore a blue floral sundress and appeared to be in good spirits, chatting with friends.On July 31, a source told Us Weekly that Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose had been kicked out of their sorority at USC. According to the source, both of them were part of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a sorority that includes about 60,000 women across 140 collegiate chapters. However, the organization reportedly removed the sisters amid the scandal “and is trying to distance themselves from the situation as much as possible.”In the lead-up to Huffman’s sentencing, the former Desperate Housewives actress, along with 27 of her closest friends, including costar Eva Longoria and husband William H. Macy, sent Judge Indira Talwani of Massachusetts letters in support of the actor and mother, with the hopes of her receiving less jail time. In Huffman’s letter, which was obtained by People and made public on September 6, she explains her involvement in the scam was an accident: Huffman’s daughter Sophia had poor math scores on the SATs, which she believed would prevent her from getting into an acting program.Ultimately, those poor test scores led Huffman to seek help from a college admissions consultant named Rick Singer, who she says convinced her to commit the crime. She wrote, “To my utter shame, I finally agreed to cheating on Sophia’s SAT scores, and also considered doing the same thing for [her other daughter] Georgia.”“Please, let me be very clear, I know there is no justification for what I have done. Yes, there is a bigger picture, but ultimately it doesn’t matter because I could have said ‘No’ to cheating on the SAT scores,” Huffman wrote. “I unequivocally take complete responsibility for my actions and will respectfully accept whatever punishment the court deems appropriate.”She added, “In my desperation to be a good mother I talked myself into believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot. I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair. I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter, and failed my family.”Macy, her husband of 22 years, wrote a letter that stressed how traumatic the scandal has been for his daughters. He wrote of his youngest daughter Georgia, “After watching the six FBI agents put her handcuffed Mom into a car and drive her away, she cried. The next day she said she wanted to go to school, but as the news of the case became a firestorm she had to come home.” He says his other daughter, Sophia, “still doesn’t like to sleep alone and has nightmares from FBI agents waking her that morning with guns drawn.”In her letter, Eva Longoria focused on Huffman’s good nature and willingness to bring Longoria, who was new to the entertainment industry at the time of the Desperate Housewives first season, under her wing as a friend. She wrote, “From the first table read of the script, she noticed me sitting alone, scared and unsure of where to go and what to do. Her gentle character and kind heart immediately opened up to me. She approached me, introduced herself and said, ‘Don’t be scared, we will get through this together.’”Read More