Updated March 2, 2021
Nearly a year after the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal gained national attention, actress Lori Loughlin (best known for her role as Aunt Becky in the family sitcom “Full House”) began her sentence in prison earlier this fall. The actress, who paid $500,000 in bribes to arrange to have her two daughters accepted into USC, began her sentence on October 30th and was a “wreck.” Speculation about Loughlin’s well-being and progress in prison have been highly reported on, but the status of her daughters have gone widely untouched.
Now, a trailer for Netflix’s Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal dives into the mastermind behind the bribes that flung Loughlin and her daughters into the scandal.
The documentary, which comes from the same producers behind Fyre and Tiger King, is as Vulture puts its “less about the celebrities attached to the scam and more about the mastermind, Rick Singer, who enjoyed a prolific career of bribing elite universities with ‘side door’ offers to gain admission for the children of his wealthy clients.”
The documentary promises to feature FBI wiretapped conversations between Singer and the millionaire he reeled into the scheme. The trailer includes clips of words like “Is there any risk that this thing blows up in my face?” and “You’ve never had an issue with this, like, some article comes out that the polo team is selling seats to the school?”
In December, Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli (who was the center of the scandal) opened up about her side of the scandal’s story.
The 21-year-old former USC college student appeared on this Tuesday’s episode of Red Table Talk.
The interview was Giannulli’s first public interview since news broke of the college admissions scandal.
Speaking about her family’s parent in the college admissions scandal, Giannulli revealed that “wasn’t fully aware of what was going on,” and thought paying a college recruiter was the norm.
“When it first happened I didn’t look at it and say, ‘Oh my God like how dare we do this?’ I was like, ‘Why is everybody complaining? I was confused what we did.’ That’s embarrassing to admit,” she explained before adding that while she was a good student in high school she didn’t deserve to be at USC. “I wasn’t slacking in high school. I don’t want to discredit myself to the point where I was like I have all this and I also didn’t care. I really did care. I was also a very involved student,” she said. “I think I put a lot of trust into a person that claimed their profession was college counseling and it led me in a wrong direction. It’s not to shift blame it’s just to explain that I wasn’t aware of what was going on.”
“It’s been hard, for anybody no matter what the situation is you don’t want to see your parents go to prison but also I think it’s necessary for us to move on and move forward,” Giannulli explained. “What happened was wrong and I think every single person in my family can look at it and be like that was messed up, that was a big mistake but I think what’s so important to me is to learn from the mistake. Not to be shamed and punished and never given a second chance… I’m 21. I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself to show I’ve grown.”
Earlier this week, in a post, shared to Twitter by “Red Table Talk” Jada Pinkett Smith, teased Giannulli’s appearance with a clip in which the Youtuber could be heard saying, “I’ve watched this show and I think you guys are all amazing and it feels really safe… But it also feels honest and it feels like we’re going to all lay it out here and it’s going to be an open conversation,” the YouTube star adds.
Leading up to the interview Giannulli also shared her appearance on the show to Instagram.
“Thank you @jadapinkettsmith@adriennebanfieldnorris @willowsmith for bringing me to the table so I can publicly share my experience for the first time. Tune in to @redtabletalk tomorrow 9:00 AM PT on @facebookwatch,” she wrote.
According to US Weekly, the actress is trying “her best to be brave and look at the end result but there was nothing that could dissipate her fears.”
US Weekly reports that an unnamed sources Loughlin was dreading her two months sentence. “Her mind keeps telling her that something will go horribly wrong in prison or that her stay could be prolonged.”
While Loughlin’s prison sentence is proving hard for her, it’s her daughters that seem to be hurting the most.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli’s daughters are without their parents who are now both in jail for their role in last year’s college admissions scandal. A source close to the family recently told People that their daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli are not taking the separation well.
“It’s just a nightmare for them,” the source told People “They were very upset when they said goodbye to Lori. But to have both of their parents now in prison at the same time is very upsetting.”
Giannulli was sent to prison on Nov. 19, booked into a federal prison in Lompoc, California. He is serving five months in prison on two fraud charges.
Loughlin reported to prison at the end of October to serve a two-month sentence at a location in Dublin, California.
Three weeks into Loughlin’s sentence, a source close to the actress revealed that she is slowly adjusting to her daily prison routine.
“She has not had any specific problems,” a source told People.com. “No one has tried any s— with her. No one is bullying her. The guards aren’t treating her any differently than other inmates.”
“She was a little weepy on her first night there,” the source revealed. “But she pulled herself together quickly. Now she’s resolved to finish her sentence with her head held high.”
The medium security prison offers pilates and yoga, as well as classes in calisthenics. The actress will be in quarantine for 14 days before joining the rest of the prison members who are part of the same facility where actress Felicity Huffman also served 11 days of her sentence for her part in the scandal. The Dublin facility reportedly has lower COVID-19 numbers.. Loughlin is expected to be released by Christmas.
Lori Loughlin‘s daughter Olivia Jade Giannull, who got into University of Southern California after her parents paid $500,000 to get her in, spoke out about her “white privilege” earlier this year.
During the summer, Jade, 20, posted a story to her Instagram page addressing nationwide protests over the unwarranted deaths of Black people across the country like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Speaking to her followers, Jade underlined that “not being racist is not enough.”
“If you hear people saying disrespectful things. CORRECT THEM. Don’t sit there & allow this to continue happening,” she wrote in an Instagram story. “[And if] someone saying something like ‘no one is around that it offends.’ Or ‘It’s a joke’ IT SHOULD OFFEND all of us because it’s outright wrong and disgusting that humans talk/treat other HUMANS the way we’ve seen. Explain how it’s not funny at all. How actually ignorant it sounds. How uneducated you sound when u [sic] are are undermining what black people had had to deal with for generations. Speak up!!!”
Jand went on to explain that as a “person who is born into privilege based on my skin color & financial situation I was not always aware that these issues were still so present. And that makes me feel awful. But that also fuels me.”
Jade also said that she wants to”learn more and do more and be better for all my beautiful black friends and any other person who faces discrimination.”
“I’m not racist and I never have been but I need to speak up about this because just not being racist isn’t enough. It out rages [sic] me. It makes me feel sick. It brings me to tears. THERE SHOULD NOT BE SUCH A GAP BETWEEN PEOPLE LIKE THIS,” she explained.
Jade also directed her followers to use their white privilege to stop the injustice.
“‘We need to support and stand up and speak and USE OUR WHITE PRIVILEGE TO STOP THIS. We need to stop complaining about the smallest things because the black community are fearful of dying and being oppressed every single day just on the way they look and how they were born,” she wrote. “Time to step up and keep making noise because this cannot continue to happen. IT’S DISGUSTING.”
Many were quick to point out that Jade’s parents have been using their white privilege in the past year since being accused of bribing their daughters into school to get off scot-free. In fact, it was recently revealed that if the judge presiding over their case accepts their formal plea agreements this week Jade’s parents will only serve two months and five months in prison for their crimes.
Operation Varsity Blues is set to premiere on March 17.
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