College Admissions Scandal: Everything That’s Happened So FarVariety — Daniel Nissen
The worlds of entertainment, business, sports and academia were rocked by the recent revelation that wealthy parents such as Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin allegedly paid college admissions consultant Rick Singer large sums to get their children into elite colleges. New developments in the scandal, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues by the FBI, continue to pop up.
Here are some of the most significant things that have happened in the wake of the scandal.
Lori Laughlin Dropped by “Fuller House” and Hallmark”
Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to USC to have their two daughters falsely designated as recruits. Laughlin will not be returning as Aunt Becky in Netflix’s “Fuller House,” a role she reprised from the original series “Full House.” Hallmark has also severed ties with the actress, who appears regularly in the channel’s series “When Calls the Heart” and “Garage Sale Mysteries.” “When Calls the Heart,” the network’s highest rated show, will pull its latest episode from its March 17 air date.
Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman Named in Class Action Suit
Actresses Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman are among 45 names in a class action lawsuit. A second suit, filed on behalf of two Stanford students, claims their degree has been devalued due to the school’s association with the scandal. Look for more lawsuits to pile up from those who feel wronged.
Olivia Jade Loses Brand Deals
Lori Laughlin’s daughter and social media influencer Olivia Jade has lost sponsors amidst the scandal and stands to lose more. Jade, who has millions of followers on social media, will no longer work with Sephora, Lulus, Amazon, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Smile Direct Club, Too Faced Cosmetics, Boohoo, and Unilever’s TRESemmé.
Olivia Jade Will Not Return to USC
Oliva Jade will reportedly not be returning to USC, according to People. It’s not clear what her sister Isabella Rose plans to do, though it seems like returning to USC if the pair were admitted unethically would not be a good look.
A Book Deal Has Already Been Inked
Nicole LaPorte, a former Variety reporter who writes for Fast Company, signed a deal with Twelve Books to write “Guilty Admissions,” centering on “how a fake non-profit acted as a guaranteed side-door for under-qualified children of wealthy parents to guarantee admissions into top colleges.”
TPG’s Bill McGlashan Fired
Though he’s not a household name, TPG founding partner of private equity giant TPG Growth and a co-founder of STX Entertainment Bill McGlashan was another parent caught up in the scheme. TPG, the parent company of CAA, let him go just two days after the scandal broke.
Olivia Jade Had Her Spring Break Ruined
Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade was enjoying spring break on a yacht in the Bahamas, according to TMZ, owned by the Grove developer Rick Caruso, who happens to be on the board of USC. She reportedly cut her boating vacation short when the scandal broke.
David Mamet expresses sympathy for friends Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy
The playwright and screenwriter David Mamet said about the celebrity couple, “I’ve known Felicity Huffman for those 35 years, she was my student, my colleague, worked in many of my films, and created roles on stage in three of my plays. I’m crazy about them both. That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon.”
Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman Post Bail
Laughlin and Giannulli posted $1 million each while Huffman posted $250,000. They all surrendered their passports, though Laughlin would have been permitted to travel to Vancouver for shooting were she not to have been dropped by Hallmark.
USC Denies at Least Six from Admission
USC interim president Wanda Austin said that the University would be conducting an independent investigation into the scandal and barring at least six of the involved applicants.
Rick Singer Pleaded Guilty
Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the scam, pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges.
Jane Buckingham Charged
Jane Buckingham, founder and president of the youth marketing consultancy Trendera, has been charged with making a bribe of $50,000 to arrange a proctor take the ACT on behalf of her son, reported The New York Times. Buckingham, ironically, has written about parenting advice in her bestselling “The Modern Girl’s Guide to” series.
Celebrities Weighed in on Twitter
Celebrities such as Lena Dunham and Samantha Bee tweeted their takes on the scandal. James Van Der Beek referenced a scene from “Varsity Blues” where his character tells his father, “I don’t want your life.”