Disgraced Full House star Lori Loughlin has broken her silence on her Varsity Blues college scandal that saw her spend two months in jail in her first television interview.
The actress, 57, revealed she was ‘down and broken’ during the period after pleading guilty to paying $500,000 to get her two daughters enrolled at University of Southern California in 2019.
After receiving half a million dollars from Loughlin and her husband, fixer Rick Singer arranged their daughters Isabella Rose, 23, and Olivia Jade, 22, on the school’s rowing team, despite the fact that they have no background in sports.
The celebrity, known for her role as Rebecca ‘Aunt Becky’ Katsopolis from Full House, gave her first interview since the admissions scandal – which rocked the nation three years ago.
She spoke about Project Angel Food — a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles that helps those dealing with food insecurity — during her Lead With Love 3 telethon on Saturday on KTLA 5.
Holding back her emotions, Loughlin said: ‘They welcomed me with such open arms at a time when I was feeling particularly down and broken.
‘That’s how I found a home here, and that’s what I feel they’ve done for me, and that’s why I’m so proud to be here and work with this organization, because they really care. It really is a community.’
Lori Loughlin, 57, opened up about her love for the non-profit organization Project Angel Food, saying she welcomed it when she felt ‘especially down and broken’ after the college admissions scandal
In the scandal, it was revealed that Lori (center) and her husband Mossimo paid half a million dollars for their daughters (left and right) to attend USC as rowing recruits, despite having no experience in the sport
Lori Loughlin (right) and her husband Mossimo Giannulli (left) seen leaving court in 2019. They later served time in prison for their involvement in Operation Varsity Blues, a massive nationwide scandal involving 33 parents
The New York-born actress said her year and a half working with the organization has made for ‘one of the most rewarding experiences’ of her life, as she packs and delivers groceries to people who are often unable to leave their homes. .
In May 2020, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, 59, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in the college admissions bribery case.
Loughlin received a two-month prison sentence along with a $150,000 fine and 150 hours of community service after the guilty plea.
She began her sentence at a federal prison in Dublin, California in October 2020 and was released that December.
Loughlin’s husband, Giannulli, received a five-month prison sentence with a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
He began his prison term in November 2020 and was transferred to home confinement in April 2021, about a month before his sentence ended.
The celeb couple were caught up in what was called Operation Varsity Blues – a massive nationwide scandal involving 33 parents.
Loughlin began her sentence at a federal prison in Dublin, California in October 2020 and was released in December
Loughlin was grateful for the non-profit. ‘They welcomed me with such open arms at a time when I felt particularly down and broken’
Loughlin with her two daughters Isabella Rose, 23, (left) and Olivia Jade, 22 (right) pictured in 2014
Influencer Olivia Jade was at the center of the scandal, when her parents Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 for her to enter the University of Southern California as a rowing recruit
At the center of the case was the youngest daughter of Loughlin and Giannulli, influencer Olivia Jade.
In YouTube videos posted before the scandal broke, Olivia told fans she ‘really didn’t care about school’ and was more interested in the social scene as she prepared for her upcoming college experience.
The influencer gave her followers advice about applying to college — just days before federal agents arrested her parents for their involvement in the conspiracy.
She has since apologized for the comments and returned to social media after a brief hiatus when the scandal unfolded in March 2019.
Earlier this year, she insisted she was a ‘straight A student’ who ‘worked really hard’ in high school even before her parents paid $500,000 for her to enter the University of Southern California.
Professionally, Loughlin’s legal problems kept her on the sidelines of the fifth season of Fuller House and her return to the small screen was seen in a two-part Christmas special for the series When Hope Calls late last year.
Earlier this summer, she made her first post-scandal red carpet appearance, as she attended RJ’s Place in June for the DesignCare 2022 Gala, benefiting the HollyRod Foundation.
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