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News & Cast Updates(News section last updated March 24, 2019)
‘Fuller House’ Sisterhood Supports Lori Loughlin At Kids’ Choice Awards(3/24/19) (Video) The Fuller House cast apparently isn’t going to abandon a family member in times of trouble. Last night, the show’s Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin accepted the Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Funny TV Show at Nickelodeon’s 2019 Kids’ Choice Awards and gave support to embattled cast member Lori Loughlin, noting “Family sticks together no matter what.”
Loughlin is in legal hot water over a college bribery scandal, and has lost work on the Hallmark Channel and other projects as a result. She played Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis on the ABC sitcom Full House from 1988-1995, and reprised the role in its Netflix sequel Fuller House from 2016-2019. No final decision has been announced by Netflix on whether she’ll be allowed to continue in the show’s upcoming final season.
“Family sticks together no matter what,” Cameron Bure said from the awards stage, not mentioning Loughlin by name. “They stick together through the hard times. They support each other, they encourage one another, they pray for each other and they stand by their side no matter how tough it gets. And a loving family that sticks together also celebrates the really good times together.”
Sweetin then added: “Yes, and this is one of those good times,” and thanked the fans for 30 years of support.
Watch the acceptance speech above.
Lori Loughlin allegedly agreed to deceive IRS about college bribes(3/22/19) Lori Loughlin allegedly agreed to lie to the IRS that the $500,000 she and her husband paid to bribe their two daughters’ way into college was just “donations.”
The former “Full House” star was caught scheming with admitted college admissions scammer William “Rick” Singer in a secretly recorded phone conversation on Nov. 29, according to the criminal complaint filed last week.
At the behest of federal investigators, Singer tells Loughlin, 54, that his charity KWF is being audited by the IRS and that he’s already alerted her fashion designer hubby, Mossimo Giannulli.
“I told Moss already and I wanted to make sure that you knew, as well, if they happened to call you, is that nothing has been said about the girls, your donations helping the girls get into USC to do … crew even though they didn’t do crew,” Singer tells her.
“So we — so we just — so we just have to say we made a donation to your foundation and that’s it, end of story,” Loughlin replies.
Loughlin and Giannulli are among 50 people charged in the widespread scam in which kids fraudulently gained admission to some of the top schools in the country, either by cheating on their college admissions tests or as fake athletic recruits.
The couple is accused of paying Singer $500,000 to get both their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, into the University of Southern California as competitive rowing recruits — even though neither girl participated in the sport.
Other parents nabbed for allegedly paying bribes include “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman.
Fuller House: Lori Loughlin Not Expected Back for Final Season(3/15/19) Have mercy? Maybe not when it comes to Lori Loughlin‘s status on Fuller House‘s farewell season, in the wake of the actress being indicted for her alleged role in a wide-ranging college admissions bribery scheme.
As Hallmark Channel plots a future without the star of its wholesome When Calls the Heart drama and Garage Sale Mystery TV-movie series, sources tell TVLine that there are currently no plans for the embattled Loughlin to reprise her role as Aunt Becky during Fuller House‘s fifth and final season, which has yet to start production and will premiere on Netflix this fall.
A star of progenitor Full House, Loughlin guest-starred on the Warner Bros. TV-produced follow-up during its first four seasons, the most recent of which hit Netflix in December. Crown Media announced on Thursday that it had “stopped development of all productions” involving Loughlin, after which Hallmark Channel pulled the March 17 episode of When Calls the Heart from its lineup, as it considers “creative options” for the well-performing series moving forward.
Loughlin turned herself over to authorities on March 13 after being indicted for allegedly taking part in a large scheme involving parents who paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their kids into elite colleges, including Yale and Georgetown. Loughlin, her husband Mossimo Giannulli and dozens of other parents — including Desperate Housewives alumna Felicity Huffman — allegedly bribed college entrance-exam administrators (to allow cheating on the tests) and university athletic coaches (to designate school applicants as athletic recruits, regardless of their athletic ability or experience playing a sport).
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid a total of $500,000 so that their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team, though neither girl participated in the sport.
Loughlin was released from custody on $1 million bail, with a judge ruling that she could travel for work as long as she informs the court where she’s going and how long she’ll be away.
Lori Loughlin’s daughters drop out of USC after admissions scandal(3/15/19) Lori Loughlin‘s daughters are dropping out of the University of Southern California — because they’re afraid of being bullied over the massive college admissions scam that has left them feeling like “a mess,” a report said Thursday.
Olivia Jade, 19, and her sister, 20-year-old Isabella Rose, have decided to withdraw from USC days after their parents, “Fuller House” star Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were charged for allegedly paying the girls’ way into the school, TMZ reported.
One source told the gossip website the girls worry they’ll be “viciously bullied” if they return to school.
Their parents, who are out on $1 million bond each, fully support the decision, the report said.
Olivia Jade — who said last year she didn’t “really care about school” but wanted the “experience” of “partying” — was aboard the yacht of a USC board of trustees member on spring break when her mom was charged in the scheme Tuesday.
Since then she has been “a mess, despondent and feeling like it’s the end of the world,” a source told the website.
Olivia Jade and her sister reportedly didn’t even want to attend USC but their father wanted them to get “into a school other than [Arizona State University],” according to court paper.
They allegedly paid $500,000 to get the girls into USC by pretending the sisters were competitive rowing recruits.
To pull off the alleged scam, Giannulli had to send plot mastermind William “Rick” Singer a photo of Isabella on a rowing machine, court papers alleged.
The sisters now plan to “lay low” and won’t try to enroll into another school for a while, TMZ said.
Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin & Bill McGlashan Hit With $500M Suit Over Elite Colleges Bribery Scheme(3/15/19) As the fallout from the nationwide elite college bribery scheme continues, the indicted Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and STX Entertainment co-founder Bill McGlashan have all been hit today in a multi-million dollar lawsuit from one very angry mother.
That’s “no less than $500,000,000.00” angry to be specific
“Joshua applied to some of the colleges where the cheating took place and did not get in,” says award winning former Oakland school teacher Jennifer Kay Toy of her 4.2 graduating son. “Joshua and I beleived that he’d had a fair chance just like all other applicants but did not make the cut for some undisclosed reason,” Toy adds in the multi-claim fraud class action filed in a San Francisco court (read it here), with a hard tone that not even the filing can hide.
Filed yesterday, the class action doesn’t just go after the American Crime star, the Fuller House actor and the managing partner of TPG Growth but all the 30 other parents and more indicted and arrested this week in the “Operation Varsity Blues” bust. Like the other parents, Huffman, Loughlin, the Garage Sale Mysteries actor’s fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli and now ex-STX board member McGlashan are being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, according to the unsealed indictment.
The Desperate Housewives and Fuller House actors were named among a well-heeled group who paid millions in bribes to to a William Singer-topped Key Worldwide Foundation fake non-profit and coaches at top schools like UCLA, USC, Yale Georgetown and Stanford, so their children could gain admission as recruited athletes – even if they weren’t actually athletes.
Posing as “donations” from the parents, the money allegedly funded illegal activity at the nonprofit included hiring other individuals to write admission exams for the potential students and bribing officials to alter SAT and ACT test scores. Revealing everything to prosecutors, Singer pleaded guilty on March 12 to racketeering and other charges in the RICO Act fueled investigation. A number of top college coaches also entered guilty pleas.
Huffman, Giannulli and McGlashan were among the LA-locals arrested and arraigned on March 12 too. Though he appears in the indictment, Huffman’s Shameless star husband William H. Macy was not named as a defendant in the matter.
Out of town filming a now-defunct Hallmark Channel project on the day of the initial arrests and court appearances, Loughlin was before a federal judge yesterday. Like her husband, the actor was granted $1 million bail bond and set to appear in a Boston federal court on March 29. As Macy looked on from the public gallery, Huffman was released on a $250,000 bail on March 12.
The other schools mentioned in the fed’s March 6 indictment are the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin and Wake Forest University. In announcing the indictments, Andrew Lelling, U.S. District Attorney of Massachusetts, noted that, “The schools are not considered co-conspirators.” But some college coaches and one administrator — USC senior associate athletic director Dr. Donna Heinel — have been indicted.
“I’m now aware of the massive cheating scandal wherein wealthy people conspired with people in positions of power and authority at colleges in order to allow their children to gain access to the very colleges that Joshua was rejected from,” Toy says in language that is much kinder than many parents have been using since the the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts made the indictments of 33 parents, college coaches and administrators public on March 12.
“I’m not a wealthy person, but even if l were wealthy l would not have engaged in the heainous and dispicable actions of defendants, the ex-public school teacher declares in the paperwork placed in the court docket by LA lawyer Daniel King. “I’m outraged and hurt because I feel that my son, my only child, was denied access to a college not because he failed to work and study hard enough but because wealthy individuals felt that it was ok to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children’s way into a good college.”
Unlikely to be the last such lawsuit to be filed in the coming week and months out of this sprawling conspiracy, Jennifer Kay Toy’s action is in parallel with one kicked off by others too.
Claiming the top college admission’s system is”warped and rigged by fraud,” a group of parents and students have launched a class action suit (read it here) against Singer himself, USC, UCLA and other schools named in “Operation Varsity Blues.” Stanford student Kalea Woods, community college student Tyler Bendis and his mother, Julia, Erica Olsen, Rutgers student Nicholas James Johnson and his father, James, Lauren Fidelak and her mother Keri want “compensatory damages in an amount which is fair and reasonable to compensate the Plaintiffs and the Class Members.”
Get ready for more.
When Calls the Heart Episode Pulled at Hallmark After Lori Loughlin Firing(3/15/19) Hallmark Channel has opted to pull the March 17 episode of When Calls the Heart from its lineup, in the wake of star Lori Loughlin‘s ongoing legal trouble.
“We are no longer airing the episode on March 17, but we are not cancelling the show,” a representative for Crown Media, Hallmark’s parent company, told our sister site Variety. “The show is one of our best performers in the Sunday night slot, and we are exploring all sorts of creative options moving forward.”
Crown Media also announced on Thursday that it has fully severed ties with Loughlin and has halted development of all projects that involved the actress, including the third-party production Garage Sale Mysteries.
Some background: Loughlin turned herself over to authorities on March 13 after being indicted for allegedly taking part in a large scheme involving parents who paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their kids into elite universities, including Yale and Georgetown. Loughlin, her husband Mossimo Giannulli and dozens of other parents — including Desperate Housewives alumna Felicity Huffman — allegedly bribed college entrance-exam administrators to allow cheating on the tests and university athletic coaches to designate school applicants as athletic recruits, regardless of their athletic ability or experience playing a sport.
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid a total of $500,000 so that their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team, though neither girl participated in the sport. Loughlin was released from custody on $1 million bail, with a judge ruling that she could travel for work as long as she informs the court where she’s going and how long she’ll be away.
The embattled actress portrays coal mine widow Abigail Stanton on When Calls the Heart, which is in the midst of its sixth season. The pulled installment, titled “Heart of a Mountie,” would have found Abigail and Erin Krakow’s Elizabeth surprised by the early arrival of a new Mountie in Hope Valley.
Lori Loughlin Fired From All Hallmark Projects Over College Cheating Scandal(3/14/19) Lori Loughlin‘s future (or lack thereof) with Hallmark has been decided. Crown Media will no longer be working with the actress — who is currently a series regular on the popular period drama When Calls the Heart, among other projects.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” reads a statement obtained by TVLine. “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.”
Some background: Loughlin turned herself over to authorities on March 13 after being indicted for allegedly taking part in a large scheme involving parents who paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their kids into elite colleges, including Harvard and Yale. Loughlin, her husband Mossimo Giannulli and dozens of other parents — including Desperate Housewives alumna Felicity Huffman — allegedly bribed college entrance-exam administrators to allow cheating on the tests and university athletic coaches to designate school applicants as athletic recruits, regardless of their athletic ability or experience playing a sport.
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid a total of $500,000 so that their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team, though neither girl participated in the sport. Loughlin was released from custody on $1 million bail, with a judge ruling that she could travel for work as long as she informs the court where she’s going and how long she’ll be away. She’s currently in the midst of making the Hallmark Channel’s latest Garage Sale Mystery movie, which is being filmed in Vancouver.
Fans of Loughlin’s work with Hallmark have been extremely vocal since news of her alleged involvement in the bribery scandal became public. Viewers have since flooded Hallmark’s social media channels, calling for her firing. “@LoriLoughlin shows or movies will no longer be played in my home,” wrote one angry fan on Instagram. “Should have hired her children a tutor and taught them better study habits.” Another added, “Personally, I don’t want to see her ever on Hallmark Channel again and it would be extremely disappointing to see Crown Media ignore her gross dishonesty.”
In addition to her work on these Hallmark projects, Loughlin also recurs on Netflix’s Fuller House, which was recently renewed for a fifth and final season. TVLine has reached out to Warner Bros. TV for comment about Loughlin’s future (or lack thereof) on the family sitcom.
Sephora cuts ties with Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade(3/14/19) Following backlash caused by her mother Lori Loughlin’s alleged involvement in a high-profile college admissions cheating scandal, Sephora has severed all ties with the “Fuller House” star’s influencer daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli.
“After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” the beauty retailer announced in a statement on Thursday.
In addition to sharing paid advertisements for Sephora with her 1.4 million Instagram followers and nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers, 19-year-old Giannulli also launched her Olivia Jade x Sephora Bronze & Illuminate Palette in collaboration with the company back in December. In the wake of the bribery scandal, shoppers flooded the product’s reviews section with scathing commentary, calls for Sephora to stop working with Giannulli and boycott threats.
The palette’s page has since been scrubbed from Sephora’s website entirely.
As Page Six previously reported, the beauty retailer’s decision to drop Giannulli could cost the teen a pretty penny, as she may have been raking in up to $50,000 per sponsored social media post. She’s also worked with brands including Amazon, TRESemmé, Smile Direct and more, and it remains to be seen whether those companies will cut ties with Giannulli as well.
Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to ensure both their daughters’ admission at the University of Southern California by pretending they were crew athletes. While a total of 50 people have been busted for participating in the headline-making scam, no students have been formally charged.
Lori Loughlin Released on $1 Million Bail, Allowed to Travel for Work(3/13/19) Lori Loughlin may be able to continue filming her various shows despite her arrest on Wednesday for alleged mail fraud as part of a college admissions bribery scheme.
According to an indictment filed on Tuesday by the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, the actress, her husband Mossimo Giannulli and dozens of other parents — including Desperate Housewives vet Felicity Huffman — allegedly bribed college entrance-exam administrators to allow cheating on the tests and university athletic coaches to designate school applicants as athletic recruits, regardless of athletic ability or experience playing a sport. Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid a total of $500,000 so that their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team, though neither girl participated in the sport.
Loughlin surrendered to authorities on Wednesday after returning to Los Angeles from Vancouver, British Columbia, where she is shooting the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. According to our sister site Variety, she was released on $1 million bail, with Judge Steve Kim reluctantly allowing the actress to travel as long as the court is aware of her destination and length of stay.
Loughlin’s attorney Marc Harris noted that the actress is under contract for two additional projects filming in Vancouver in April and May, as well as production on a series beginning in July. In addition to her starring role in When Calls the Heart, Loughlin also headlines the Garage Sale Mysteries franchise on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. (Loughlin also recurs on Netflix’s Fuller House, which films in Los Angeles.)
Hallmark’s parent company told Variety, “Crown Media Family Networks is aware of the situation and monitoring developments as they arise.”
Lori Loughlin on pushing her kids in 2017 interview: ‘We were never those parents’(3/13/19) Lori Loughlin admitted that her daughters were feeling pressured before she and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly bribed USC to let their children in.
“You know, I don’t ever do, I never pushed my kids to — I always say, ‘Do the best you can,’” the actress told Page Six in a 2017 interview.
“For my husband too, their dad, never we were never like, ‘At school you got to get straight A’s.’ We were never those parents. We were always like, ‘You know what? Give it your all. Do the best you can ’cause in life if you give it your all and you do the best you can, that’s it. That’s all you can do.’ And that’s enough, in my opinion, especially with kids. I think we’ve put so much pressure and stress on them. A lot of it is unnecessary and I think it’s important to just have downtime, free time. I never over-scheduled my kids. Never. I always gave them plenty of time to just sit in their playroom and, you know, use their imaginations.”
Isabella Rose, her older daughter, agreed with her mom’s sentiments in the video.
Prosecutors revealed on Tuesday that they planned to indicted more than 40 people in the “largest college admissions scam ever,” with Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, on their list.
The couple allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the court documents.
Ironically, Loughlin gushed over 20-year-old Isabella Rose and 19-year-old Olivia Jade’s acceptances in a “Today” show interview after the scheme was successful.
Giannulli appeared in court on his conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud charges Tuesday, while Loughlin was expected to surrender on her charges Wednesday. She was filming in Vancouver when the feds came looking for her.
Indicted Lori Loughlin Surrenders To Cops; Court Hearing Today For Elite School Bribery Scheme(3/13/19) Lori Loughlin has surrendered to law enforcement for her role in the multi-million-dollar elite college bribery scheme and will appear in federal court in downtown L.A. this afternoon.
Filming the Hallmark Channel series When The Heart Calls in Vancouver yesterday when initial arrests were made by the FBI in the nationwide conspiracy case, Loughlin flew back into LAX just as her husband Mossimo Giannulli was making his own appearance in arraignment court.
The famed Aunt Becky of Full House and now Fuller House fame is expected to stand before a federal magistrate judge at around 2:00 PM PT, I’ve learned.
In a year-long investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, the UTA-repped Loughlin and Giannulli were snared after being caught paying “bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the 200-page indictment.
Along with American Crime star Felicity Huffman and STX Entertainment and Evolution Media co-founder Bill McGlashan, Loughlin and Giannulli were named among a group of 33 parents who paid millions in bribes to coaches at top schools like UCLA, USC, Yale Georgetown and Stanford, so their children could gain admission as recruited athletes – even if they weren’t actually athletes.
Like her fashion designer spouse, Huffman and a dozen other LA-locals rounded up Tuesday, Loughlin will not enter a plea but will be expected to set a bail bond.
The actor will also be given a primary hearing date to next appear in federal court in Boston, where the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts is running point on the big bucks white collar crime case that has snared 50 people in total and numerous big names schools like Yale, Stanford.
At his quick hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alexander F. MacKinnon yesterday, a noticeably fatigued Giannulli put up a $1 million bail bond and had his passport taken away. With his travel restricted to the continental U.S., the designer was told to show up in Boston on March 29 for his next hearing in the case.
At the time, Giannulli’s lawyer Mark Harris sought to bring up the matter of the absent Loughlin. Also representing the actor, the attorney wanted to ensure more flexible conditions for Loughlin so she could continue to work up in Canada Judge MacKinnon said that sounded OK to him but the final call would be made “be another magistrate.” As well as Loughlin’s bail bond sum, the decision on her travel restrictions will be decided at today’s hearing.
As well as her frequent Hallmark gigs, Loughlin is set to appear in her well-known role of Rebecca Katsopoli in the upcoming fifth and final season of Netflix’s Fuller House when it launches on the streamer later this year. Neither Netflix nor Loughlin’s agency UTA had any comment on the actor’s indictment and now arrest.
This whole case actually came to light because the feds were tipped off in the pursuit of another case.
In pursuing the lead, the government uncovered a long-time a $25 million scam run by the William Singer-topped Key Worldwide Foundation. The money, collected by the nonprofit as “donations” from parents, allegedly funded illegal activity including hiring other individuals to write admission exams for potential students, paying officials to alter test scores, and bribing coaches so their children could gain admission as recruited athletes even if they had never played the sport. Reportedly giving up the goods on the whole scam, Singer and several coaches from top schools entered guilty pleas on March 12.
Among those charged in the March 6 indictment, Loughlin could be sentenced to at up to five years in jail if found guilty. Having said that, the hard fact of justice in America is it will be very unlikely the wealthy actor will see any tactual time behind bars if a plea deal is struck or sentencing is favored heavily towards probation, community service, and a fine.
Lori Loughlin gushed over daughter’s entrance to college on ‘Today’(3/12/19) Two years before Lori Loughlin was charged with bribing her children’s way into college, she gushed about sending her oldest child off to school on the “Today” show and how she was “preparing” for her departure.
“So many parents watching I’m sure are going through this where they’re about to watch a child go off to college… are you preparing for it in any other way?” Hoda Kotb asked Loughlin as she sat beside her daughter Isabella whose grades were at or just below the “low end” of USC’s admission standards, court documents revealed Tuesday.
“I think I’m in complete denial, I really am because when I think about it too much it will make me cry so I gotta stop,” Loughlin said, fanning away crocodile tears.
“My husband keeps saying, ‘Lori you’re not gonna see her so just be prepared.’”
In a veiled “clap back” to the alleged fraudster, “Today” tweeted out the interview around 5 p.m. Tuesday shortly after news broke that Loughlin was planning to turn herself in on the fraud charges.
“See Lori Loughlin talk about sending her daughter to college in 2017 interview,” the tweet read.
Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are among dozens of people accused of bribing their kids way into top colleges in a massive admissions scandal that was announced Tuesday morning.
The couple first got involved with the scheme in 2016 with their daughter Isabella, who appeared in the 2017 interview and discussed her hopes to study acting at the prestigious California school.
Court documents allege Isabella’s grades didn’t cut USC’s standards and Giannulli wanted her to get into a school “other than [Arizona State University],” so he enlisted the help of William Singer, who is accused of running the scam.
The dad allegedly sent a photo of Isabella on a rowing machine to smooth over the scheme to get her into USC as a crew coxswain even though she had never rowed competitively or even participated in the sport, court papers alleged.
Representatives from Loughlin and her husband haven’t responded to requests for comment.
Felicity Huffman Arrested by FBI with Guns Drawn, Loughlin to Surrender Wed(3/12/19) 5:28 PM PT -- Multiple law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Lori Loughlin will turn herself in to federal authorities Wednesday morning. The FBI showed up at her doorstep early Tuesday morning, and she was going to receive the same treatment as Felicity. Turns out, Lori was shooting in Vancouver and wasn't there. FBI agents arrested her husband in the college bribery scam, and then made arrangements with Lori's people for her to surrender when she returns to L.A.
Felicity Huffman knew she was a target of the federal investigation into bribery in the college admissions process ... but she had no idea 7 feds would show up at her door Tuesday morning with guns drawn.
Sources familiar with the arrest tell TMZ, 7 FBI agents showed up at Felicity's Hollywood Hills home at 6 AM and drew their weapons as they ordered Felicity to come out and surrender.
We're told Felicity, her husband William H. Macy and their 2 daughters were asleep when the agents ordered her out. Our sources say she knew the arrest was looming and would have gladly surrendered on her own, but the feds saw it differently.
An FBI source familiar with the arrest tells TMZ guns were drawn as a precaution. It's always left to the agents' discretion whether to draw a firearm during an arrest.
The agents took Huffman to a federal building where she was processed by federal marshals.
As we reported, Huffman was indicted for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The indictment claims Huffman made a charitable contribution of $15,000 to participate in a college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter. The indictment claims the daughter was given twice the amount of time to take the SAT as other students and the paid proctor agreed to secretly correct her answers afterward.
The docs claim the girl got a 1420 score ... approximately 400 points over her PSAT.
Felicity Huffman Arrested In Elite College Bribe Scheme; Lori Loughlin & Others Charged – Update(3/12/19) 2nd UPDATE with more details, 12:30 PM: Felicity Huffman was arrested this morning by law enforcement for her involvement in a bribery scheme to get her and William H. Macy’s daughter into elite colleges.
When Calls the Heart star and Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin and her spouse, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, also are charged in the nationwide indictment.
Andrew Lelling, U.S. District Attorney of Massachusetts, called the case “the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”
American Crime and Desperate Housewives actor Huffman and Giannulli were taken into custody with 11 other Los Angeles locals today, I’ve learned, as a scathing indictment was unsealed in federal court in Boston. Huffman and the others are expected to appear in downtown L.A. court this afternoon on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.
Despite earlier indications, Loughlin — who also was a regular on such TV series as 90210, Summerland, Hudson Street and Full House — was not arrested this morning.
Among 33 parents and 17 others under indictment, the charges could see Huffman and Loughlin behind bars for up to five years.
Maenwhile, at least two other people with ties to the entertainment industry also were caught up in today’s FBI indictments: Jane Buckingham, founder and CEO of the Beverly Hills-based boutique marketing firm Trendera, and Elisabeth Kimmel, owner and president of Midwest Television, which sold the CBS-affiliated San Diego radio and TV outlets KFMB to Tenga last year. Kimmel also worked as a litigation associate at Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp, the law firm whose specialties include movie, TV and music deals.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:37 AM: (UPDATED with information from law enforcement press conference): Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin knowingly broke the law trying to get their kids into top-tier colleges, according to the FBI and the U.S Attorney’s office for the district of Massachusetts.
The Desperate Housewives and Fuller House actors were named among a group of 33 parents who paid millions in bribes to coaches at top schools like UCLA, USC, Yale Georgetown and Stanford, so their children could gain admission as recruited athletes – even if they weren’t actually athletes.
The other schools mentioned in the indictment are the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin and Wake Forest University. In announcing the indictments, Andrew Lelling, U.S. District Attorney of Massachusetts, noted that, “The schools are not considered co-conspirators.” But some college coaches and one administrator — USC senior associate athletic director Dr. Donna Heinel — have been indicted.
The just-unsealed March 6 indictment (read it here) notes that with the exception of a single USC administrator, the schools themselves were not part of the $25 million scam run by the William Singer-topped Key Worldwide Foundation. Posing as “donations” from the parents, the money allegedly funded illegal activity at the nonprofit included hiring other individuals to write admission exams for the potential students and bribing officials to alter SAT and ACT test scores.
Singer and a number of school coaches are scheduled to plead guilty today to racketeering and other charges in the year-long elite “Operation Varsity Blues” bust.
“Today we have charged 33 parents nationwide,” Lelling said. “These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege. They include, for example, CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”
Officially, Huffman and Loughlin are being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, according to the unsealed indictment. It is unclear at this juncture whether the actors have officially been arrested, though warrants have been issued.
The charges hold as much as five years jail time. However, based on their past records or lack thereof, and what their lawyers will try to get in a plea deal, how much actual time behind bars Huffman and Loughlin could see in sentencing is unclear.
The 200-page indictment unsealed Tuesday said Huffman and William H. Macy, her husband and Shameless star, “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter.” That fraud included paying an individual who “controlled” a Los Angeles SAT testing center to fix her daughter’s incorrect exam answers. That effort led to a massive increase in the daughter’s SAT score.
Noting that there are RICO Act obtained tape recordings of the actor participating in the scheme, the filing damningly goes on to note that “Huffman later made arrangements to pursue the scheme a second time, for her younger daughter, before deciding not to do so.”
Macy has not been charged by the feds.
“This should be a warning to others, you can’t pay to play, you can’t lie and cheat to get ahead because you will get caught,” said the Boston FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta in a press conference this morning. U.S, Attorney Andrew Lelling called the matter a “conspiracy nationwide in scope” during the same media appearance.
“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” the federal prosecutor added. “They include, for example, CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”
“There are more than that, but I’m not prepared to give you a total,” Lelling said too of the ongoing investigation, noting “it remains to be seen whether we charge any of the students.”
Loughlin and her spouse Mossimo Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” asserts the grand jury indictment.
Giannulli has been charged.
Reps for Huffman and Loughlin did not return request for comment. Huffman is next expected to be seen on screen in Netflix’s When They See Us. The four-part series formerly known as Central Park Five will be going global on the streamer May 31.
Netflix had no comment on the matter. Deadline also has reached to out When Calls the Heart network Hallmark Channel.
USC released this statement on the probe today:
We are aware of the ongoing wide-ranging criminal investigation involving universities nationwide, including USC. USC has not been accused of any wrongdoing and will continue to cooperate fully with the government’s investigation.
We understand that the government believes that illegal activity was carried out by individuals who went to great lengths to conceal their actions from the university. USC is conducting an internal investigation and will take employment actions as appropriate.
USC is in the process of identifying any funds received by the university in connection with this alleged scheme. Additionally, the university is reviewing its admissions processes broadly to ensure that such actions do not occur going forward.
Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin Indicted in Alleged Ivy League Bribery Scheme(3/12/19) Desperate Housewives vet Felicity Huffman and Fuller House‘s Lori Loughlin have been indicted for allegedly taking part in a large scheme involving parents who paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their kids into elite colleges, including Harvard and Yale, TVLine has confirmed. It remains unclear if both actresses are currently in custody. Loughlin’s husband, Mossimo Giannulli, has also been charged.
The indictment — filed by the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and obtained by TVLine — alleges that Huffman, Loughlin, Giuannulli and 29 other people were involved in the scheme, which bribed college entrance-exam administrators to allow cheating on the tests and university athletic coaches to designate school applicants as athletic recruits, regardless of athletic ability or experience playing a sport. The money for the payments allegedly was funneled through a charity to disguise the wrongdoing.
Per the indictment, Huffman and husband William H. Macy (who is not referenced by name) paid $15,000 to have someone take the SAT in place of their older daughter, which ultimately resulted in a 1420 SAT score for her. They also allegedly pursued doing the same for their younger daughter, but eventually decided against repeating their involvement in the scheme.
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid a total of $500,000 so that their two daughters would be designated as recruits to the USC crew team. Neither girl participated in the sport. Athletic recruits have a much better chance of admission than students who are not recruited.
Other schools involved include Stanford and Georgetown.
Huffman most recently appeared in Season 2 of Epix’s Get Shorty, and she’ll next be seen in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries When They See Us, which drops May 31. Loughlin currently stars in Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart, which is airing its sixth season on Sundays at 8 pm. She also recurs on Fuller House.
TVLine has reached out to reps for Huffman and Loughlin for comment.
‘Jane The Novela’: Marcia Cross To Co-Star In The CW’s ‘Jane The Virgin’ Spinoff Pilot(3/7/19) Former Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross has been tapped as a lead opposite Jacqueline Grace Lopez in Jane the Novela, the CW’s Jane the Virgin spinoff pilot. The telenovela anthology series project hails from Jane the Virgin creator/executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman, star Gina Rodriguez, exec producers Ben Silverman and director Brad Silberling, as well as studio CBS TV Studios.
Written by Jane scribe Valentina Garza and directed by Silberling, Jane the Novela is envisioned as a soapy, telenovela-inspired anthology series in the tradition of Jane the Virgin, where each season is based on a different fictional novel “written by” Jane Villanueva and narrated by the author herself.
The first installment takes place at a Napa Valley vineyard, where family secrets (and family members) don’t stay buried for long. It centers on Estela (Lopez), an up-and-coming art curator who has spent years playing it safe and coloring within the lines. But a shocking secret changes everything and forces her to live a double life.
Being “in the tradition of Jane the Virgin,” Jane the Novela mirrors the setup of the original series. It too follows a driven, imaginative twentysomething Latina woman (Lopez) who is torn between her boyfriend, Luen, and Felix, a handsome, rich guy. Felix co-owns a winery with his manipulative and glamorous mother Renata (Cross), who will stop at nothing to secure her son’s legacy, even if it means standing in the way of his happiness.
Cross starred as conservative housewife Bree Van de Kamp on ABC’s hit soapy dramedy series Desperate Housewives, which earned her an Emmy nomination. She previously starred on Melrose Place and several daytime dramas, giving her strong credentials to tackle a series in the tradition of telenovelas, the Latin American version of American soaps. Most recently, Cross recurred on ABC’s thriller series Quantico as well as on YouTube Red series Youth & Consequences.
She is repped by Gersh and John Carrabino Management.
Morning Show Appearance(2/10/19) Today - NBC
Thursday, February 14
(10-11 a.m.) Lori Loughlin on Hallmark’s When the Heart Calls.
Talk Show Appearance(2/10/19) LIVE WITH KELLY AND RYAN, syndicated
Th 2/14: Lori Loughlin
Talk Show Appearance(11/30/18) The Talk - CBS
Wednesday, Dec. 5: Actress Lori Loughlin discusses her new holiday television film, “Homegrown Christmas”
Mena Suvari & Frances Fisher To Star In ‘Grace and Grit’ Indie(11/16/18) Mena Suvari and Frances Fisher have signed on to star in Grace and Grit, the indie feature adaptation of Ken Wilber’s book of the same title. Stuart Townsend, Mariel Hemingway, Lydia Hearst, Nick Stahl, Rebekah Graf, and Tara Subkoff also co-star in the Sebastian Siegel-directed film, which is currently in production.
Siegel penned the screenplay. It’s based on a true story of the five-year courageous journey of Treya Wilber (Suvari) and Ken Wilber (Townsend), through their falling in love, marriage, and challenge to overcome illness and meaning to find love beyond life. The story takes place in the mid-1980’s between Muir Beach, Tahoe, and Boulder, Colorado.
Siegel is also producing the pic with Lucas Jarach and Eric Brenner. Jim Jacobsen will serve as exec producer via Skyline Entertainment, which is financing.
Suvari, who broke onto the scene with her roles in American Pie and American Beauty, was a series regular in the short-lived Paramount Network series, American Woman, and reprised her role as Elizabeth Short (a.k.a Black Dahlia) in FX’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse.
Fisher’s notable credits include Titanic, Laws of Attraction, Unforgiven, and True Crime. Up next, she can be seen in Damon Lindelof’s forthcoming HBO series Watchmen.
Suvari is repped by APA and Management Production Entertainment and Fisher is repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency.
Former Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross winning secret battle with cancer(9/27/18) Former Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross has gone public with her anal cancer battle by revealing all her hair fell out during treatment.
The 56-year-old actress posted a selfie on Instagram on Sept. 15 and gave fans a health update.
“So grateful and happy to be alive but sad that my hair fell out and is about 1 inch long now and looks cra cra,” she wrote. “Anyone else have #hairloss due to #cancer? Talk to me. I feel you.”
She added, “I am POST cancer. All good now. Hard journey, but I am HEALTHY, happy, and more present and grateful than ever. Thank you from the bottom of my ever expanding heart for all of your LOVE.”
Marcia returned to social media a day later and explained the previous post had really empowered her.
“After posting a picture of myself here and uttering the words #cancer and #hairloss, I felt liberated, deliriously free and completely me,” she wrote. “How or why this simple act gave me such a powerful lift I did not question, but I thanked God or whatever gave me the internal push to move forward and expose myself.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting the response of love and kindness that flowed to me. My capacity to receive requires a massive expansion! I am ecstatically alive and what interests me post-cancer is #AUTHENTICITY. #VULNERABILITY. #TRANSPARENCY. And of course #LOVE.”
It’s not the first time Cross has faced and beaten cancer – her husband, Tom Mahoney, was diagnosed in 2009, and, like his wife, is now healthy.
Your Complete Guide to Every New Hallmark Christmas Movie This Year(9/20/18) Summer isn't even officially over but it's already time to start talking about Christmas, more specifically Hallmark Christmas! That's right, folks, the Hallmark Christmas movie schedule was officially released via Entertainment Weekly on Wednesday, and now you can map out your Christmas cheer accordingly.
Whether you're into sad veterans, overworked marketing assistants too busy trying to land a promotion to celebrate the holidays or a bah-humbug widower in need of some Christmas spirit, Hallmark has you covered with over 35 festive holiday films that go down smoother than your grandma's hot cocoa with marshmallows. Here is when all the new films premiere!
Saturday, Oct. 27
Wednesday, Nov. 3
Thursday, Nov. 4
Film: Marrying Father Christmas
Wednesday, Nov. 10
Thursday, Nov. 11
Film: A Soldier's Christmas
Wednesday, Nov. 17
Film: A Godwink Christmas
Thursday, Nov. 18
Film: Return to Christmas Creek
Friday, Nov. 19
Saturday, Nov. 20
Sunday, Nov. 21
Monday, Nov. 22
Tuesday, Nov. 23
Wednesday, Nov. 24
Thursday, Nov. 25
Film: A Shoe Addict's Christmas
Wednesday, Dec. 1
Thursday, Dec. 2
Film: Northern Lights of Christmas
Wednesday, Dec. 8
Film: Memories of Christmas
Thursday, Dec. 9
Film: Christmas Wonderland
Wednesday, Dec. 8
Wednesday, Dec. 15
Thursday, Dec. 16
Film: Reunited for Christmas
Wednesday, Dec. 22
Film: Small Town Christmas
Thursday, Dec. 23
Film: Christmas Bells Are Ringing
Saturday, Dec. 25
Wednesday, Dec. 29
General Hospital Vet Susan Brown Dead at 86, Remembered by Co-Stars(9/1/18) General Hospital alum Susan Brown, who played Scotty Baldwin’s stepmother, Dr. Gail Adamson Baldwin, died on Friday at the age of 86.
GH vet Kin Shriner, who plays Scotty, shared the news on Twitter, hailing Brown as “one of my best friends and costars…. R.I.P., Susan. I will miss all our laughs.”
Brown first joined GH in 1977, earning a Daytime Emmy nomination two years later. She exited GH in the mid-80s, but recurred now and again, especially when Scotty’s family helped launch the ABC Daytime spinoff Port Charles. Brown last appeared on GH in a 2004 episode honoring the late Anna Lee, who had Lila Quartermaine.
Brown’s previous TV credits included As the World Turns (as Adelaide Fitzgibbon), ABC’s mid-1960s sudser The Young Marrieds, Death Valley Days and Santa Barbara (as Dorothy Lane). Her most recent primetime role was a 1994 episode of Frasier.
“She was so very special, on set and in friendship,” GH vet Jackie Zeman shared on Twitter, offering Shriner her condolences. “I remember all the good times we shared on our lunch breaks and at at her amazing dinner parties at her beautiful home. RIP Susan + God Bless.”
Current GH boss Frank Valentini tweeted, “It’s a very sad day in Port Charles as the wonderful Susan Brown (“Gail Baldwin”) passed away today. My sincerest condolences to her family and to all who knew this amazing woman.”
Brown’s GH husband, Peter Hansen (who played Scotty’s father, Lee Baldwin), passed away in April 2017, at the age of 95.
Dorothy Lyman on FBI 9/25/18(8/24/18) “Pilot” – After a bomb explosion devastates a residential apartment building, special agents Maggie Bell and Omar Adom “OA” Zidan of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigate a possible war between rival gangs – that is, until their prime suspects are discovered brutally murdered, on FBI, Tuesday, Sept. 25 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
From Emmy Award winner Dick Wolf and the team behind the “Law & Order” franchise, FBI is a fast-paced drama about the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This elite unit brings to bear all their talents, intellect and technical expertise on major cases in order to keep New York and the country safe. Born into a multigenerational law enforcement family, Special Agent Maggie Bell commits deeply to the people she works with as well as those she protects. Her partner is Special Agent Omar Adom “OA” Zidan, a West Point graduate via Bushwick who spent two years undercover for the DEA before being cherry-picked by the FBI. Overseeing them is Special Agent in Charge Dana Mosier (Sela Ward), who operates under intense pressure 24/7/365 and has undeniable command authority. The team also includes Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jubal Valentine, the nerve center of the office whose ability to easily relate to and engage with both superiors and subordinates makes him a master motivator. Kristen Chazal is the team’s most valued resource, a brilliant analyst recruited straight out of university who can piece together the big picture faster than anyone. These first-class agents tenaciously investigate cases of tremendous magnitude, including terrorism, organized crime and counterintelligence.
GUEST CAST includes: Connie Nielson (Ellen Solberg), Dallas Roberts (Robert Lawrence), Dorothy Lyman (Jilly Peters)
When Calls the Heart Movie(6/18/18) Hallmark Channel will air a When Calls the Heart Christmas movie later this year, featuring series stars Lori Loughlin, Erin Krakow, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith and Paul Greene, EW.com reports. In the special installment, Abigail and the other residents band together to create an unforgettable Christmas when a group of orphans are stranded in Hope Valley for the holidays, while Elizabeth prepares to give birth.
Jennifer Bassey Married Actor George Bamford — Get the Romantic Details!(6/10/18) (Photo) Congratulations are in order for ALL MY CHILDREN actress Jennifer Bassey (Marian), who recently married fellow actor, LAW & ORDER alum George Bamford! The couple announced their engagement in November of 2016 and tied the knot on April 19, 2018. "They say it's never too late to love and be loved," Bassey tweeted. "I believe it!"
The couple tied the knot in a simple ceremony at the City Clerk’s office in New York City. “We filled out the paperwork and went into a room and we were married,” Bassey told People. “After the ceremony, which was very short, I asked the officiant who married us what his name was. He said, ‘Angel.’ George turned to me and said, ‘We just got married by an angel.'" The couple then went to Little Italy for their first meal as man and wife.
After Bassey’s husband of 30 years, Luther Davis, died in 2008, she took a grief recovery course and was inspired to help others deal with their own grief. One of the people she helped was Bamford, who was suffering after losing his wife of 50 years to cancer. One thing led to another and the pair fell in love!
“Two and a half years later, here we are,” Bassey mused. “I never dreamed when I met George it would turn into this. From the first minute we met, it was very comfortable.”
“She’s very giving and has a good heart,” Bamford said. “I sensed right away that she’s the kind of person who knows how to fall in love and has been in love, as I had. And once you’re in love and you’ve felt love, you miss it. And you long for it again and try to replicate it.”
Such a beautiful and inspirational story — Our best wishes to the happy couple for a lifetime of happiness together!
Soap's Robert Mandan Dead at 86(6/4/18) Robert Mandan, best known to TV audiences for his role as Chester Tate on the classic ABC sitcom Soap, has died at the age of 86.
Mandan passed away in Los Angeles on April 29 after suffering a long, undisclosed illness, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He is survived by his wife, Sherry Dixon.
The veteran TV actor got his start in soap operas, with stints on From These Roots (1959-1961), The Edge of Night (1963), The Doctors (1963) and Search for Tomorrow (1966-1970). He continued to work regularly throughout the 1970s, appearing on episodes of All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, Mission: Impossible and The Streets of San Francisco, among other high-profile series.
Mandan’s star-making role came soon after, when he was cast on the aforementioned Soap as the philandering husband to Katherine Helmond’s Jessica from 1977 to 1981. The series ran for a total of four seasons and spawned the successful spinoff Benson, starring the late Robert Guillaume.
After Soap, Mandan starred as Col. Lawrence Fielding in the TV adaptation of Private Benjamin, which ran on CBS from 1981-1983. In 1984, he starred opposite John Ritter on the short-lived Three’s a Crowd, in a role he originated in the final episodes of Three’s Company. In 1986, he appeared on The Facts of Life as Dr. Bruce Gaines, a member of the Peace Corps who married Mrs. Garrett in Charlotte Rae’s farewell episodes. Then in 1991, he reunited with Soap spouse Helmond in two episodes of Who’s the Boss.
Mandan’s film credits include Hickey & Boggs, MacArthur and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Other notable TV gigs included episodes of The Love Boat, CHiPS, Highway to Heaven, Santa Barbara, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Married… with Children.
Talk Show Appearance(2/18/18) HARRY, syndicated
Fr 2/23: Lori Loughlin
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