Disgraced Full House star Lori Loughlin has broken her silence on her Varsity Blues college bribing scandal that saw her spend two months in jail in her first television interview.
The actress, 57, revealed that she was ‘down and broken’ in the period after she pleaded guilty to paying $500,000 to get her two daughters enrolled into University of Southern California in 2019.
After receiving half a million dollars from Loughlin and her husband, fixer Rick Singer arranged to get her daughters Isabella Rose, 23, and Olivia Jade, 22, onto the school’s rowing team, despite them having no background in the sport.
The celebrity, known for her role as Full House’s Rebecca ‘Aunt Becky’ Katsopolis, gave her first interview since the admission scandal – which rocked the nation three years ago.
She spoke about Project Angel Food – a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that helps those dealing with food insecurity – during its Lead With Love 3 telethon on Saturday on KTLA 5.
Loughlin, holding back her emotions, said: ‘They have 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 like they did for me, and that’s why I’m so proud to be here and working with this organization, because they really do care. It’s really a community.’
Lori Loughlin, 57, opened up about her fondness for the nonprofit organization Project Angel Food, saying she was welcomed when she was ‘feeling particularly down and broken’ following 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 neither having 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 which involved 33 parents
The New York-born actress said that her year-and-a-half of working with the organization has made for ‘one of the most rewarding experiences’ of her life as she packs groceries and delivers them to people who are often unable to leave their men.
In May 2020, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, 59, pleaded guilty in connection with conspiracy charges in the college admission bribery case.
Loughlin received a two-month jail sentence along with a fine of $150,000 and 150 hours of community service following the guilty plea.
She began her sentence at a federal prison in Dublin, California in October of 2020 and was released that December.
Loughlin’s husband Giannulli received a five-month sentence with a fine of $250,000 and 250 hours of community service.
He began his prison sentence in November of 2020 and was transferred to home confinement in April of 2021, about a month before his sentence ended.
The celeb couple were busted in what was called Operation Varsity Blues – a massive nationwide scandal which involved 33 parents.
Loughlin began her sentence at a federal prison in Dublin, California in October of 2020 and was released that December
Loughlin she was thankful to the non-profit. ‘They have welcomed me with such open arms at a time when I was feeling 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 $500,000 for her to get paid into the University of Southern California as a rowing recruit
At the center of the case was Loughlin and Giannulli’s youngest daughter, influencer Olivia Jade.
In YouTube videos posted before the scandal erupted, Olivia told fans she didn’t ‘really 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 on applying to university – just days before federal agents arrested her parents for their involvement in the conspiracy.
She has since apologized for the comments, and has returned to social media after a brief hiatus when the scandal unraveled 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 get into the University of Southern California.
Professionally, Loughlin’s legal troubles kept her sidelined from Fuller House’s fifth season and her return to the small screen came late last year appearing on a two-part Christmas special for the series When Hope Calls.
Earlier this summer, she appeared on her first red carpet in the wake of the scandal, as in June she was at RJ’s Place for the DesignCare 2022 Gala, benefitting the HollyRod Foundation.