It’s a bad day for Aunt Becky, who was indicted this week on alleged ties to the college admissions scandal hitting the country right now.
The Hallmark Channel issued a statement on Thursday to distance itself officially from Lori Loughlin. In recent years, Loughlin has been one of the most lucrative stars featured on various movies and shows to come out of the channel. Since her career began back in the days of Full House, Loughlin has lived a mostly quiet and productive life as the sweetheart of the Hallmark Channel. Starring on movies and shows like Garage Sale Mysteries and When Calls the Heart, Loughlin was able to become a major player in the Hallmark brand. Now, that’s all over.
The news about the college admissions scandal rocking the country broke on Monday. Loughlin’s involvement alleges that the former Hallmark movie star committed several acts of mail fraud in an effort to get her daughter into USC. Loughlin allegedly hired a company to do this by faking test results and bribing school officials. The company, Key Worldwide Foundation, was a fake 501(c)(3) non-profit created by William “Rick” Singer as a way to funnel money into an illegal college admissions operation.
The FBI investigation, titled “Varsity Blues,” highlighted some of the ins and outs of the scheme. Singer allegedly earned money from people interested in getting their child into college under the guise of being an athlete. The fake charity would then doctor test results, have its own private proctor give “assisted” exams, or flat-out bribe college officials and coaches in athletic programs at prestigious universities around the country to get the kids into college.
Other People Involved
Among the parents and officials indicted in the scheme were Hollywood stars like Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman—who actually said “ruh roh” in an email conversation about setting up a fake proctor for her daughters college entry exams, as proven in the Operation Varsity Blues court documents—which you can read here.
College officials like Donna Heinel, the senior associate athletic director at USC were also part of the scandal. Heinel allegedly took bribes from Singer on behalf of Loughlin and her husband. The couple allegedly spent upwards of $500,000 to get their two daughters into the school. The daughters were admitted as recruits for the USC crew team with no experience in the sport. The scheme involved doctoring photos, faking test results, and bribing a school official. The FBI arrested Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, on multiple counts of mail fraud earlier this week. Loughlin and her husband both made bail on Wednesday at a price of $1 million each.
Times are going to be tough for Lori Loughlin moving forward. The parent company of the Hallmark Channel issued a statement about the scandal on Thursday. “”We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. 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,” said the company in a statement issued on Thursday by Crown Media. The company will also be removing Loughlin’s completed works from its library of films and shows.
Meanwhile, things are just as hard for Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli, 19. The influencer and student is in her first year of school at USC. The teenager has garnered a massive following on YouTube and Instagram as a beauty blogger. This is where she’s earned partnerships with brands like Sephora and TRESeme as a brand ambassador in recent months. Since the scandal broke earlier this week, the brands have dumped Giannulli in an effort to distance themselves.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.