Disgraced Full House star Lori Loughlin has broken her silence over her Varsity Blue bribery scandal, which saw her spend two months in jail in her first television interview.
The actress, 57, revealed she was “down and broken” after pleading guilty to paying $500,000 to enroll her two daughters at the University of Southern California in 2019.
After receiving half a million dollars from Loughlin and her husband, fixer Rick Singer arranged for her daughters Isabella Rose, 23, and Olivia Jade, 22, to join the school’s rowing team, despite having no background in sports. .
The celebrity, known for her role as Full House’s Rebecca “Aunt Becky” Katsopolis, gave her first interview since the admissions scandal — which rocked the nation three years ago.
She spoke about Project Angel Food — a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that helps people dealing with food insecurity — during Saturday’s Lead With Love 3 telethon on KTLA 5.
Loughlin, keeping her emotions in check, said: “They welcomed me with open arms at a time when I was feeling particularly depressed and broken.
“That’s how I found a home here, and that’s what I feel like they’ve done for me, and that’s why I’m so proud to be here and work for this organization, because they really care about them. It really is a community.’
Lori Loughlin, 57, opened up about her fondness for the nonprofit Project Angel Food and said she was welcomed when she felt “particularly down and broken” after the university’s 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) watched as they left court in 2019. They later went to jail 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 provided “one of the most rewarding experiences” of her life, packing groceries and delivering them to people who often can’t leave their homes.
In May 2020, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, 59, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the college admissions bribery case.
Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison, a $150,000 fine and 150 hours of community service after the guilty plea.
She began her sentence in a federal prison in Dublin, California in October 2020 and was released in December.
Loughlin’s husband Giannulli was sentenced to five months in prison with a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
He started his prison sentence in November 2020 and was transferred to house arrest in April 2021, about a month before his sentence ended.
The celeb couple were busted in what was dubbed Operation Varsity Blues – a massive nationwide scandal involving 33 parents.
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 to enroll as a rowing recruit at the University of Southern California.
Central to the case was Loughlin and Giannulli’s youngest daughter, influencer Olivia Jade.
In YouTube videos posted before the scandal broke, 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 advised her followers 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 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 attend the University of Southern California.
Professionally, Loughlin’s legal troubles kept her out of Fuller House’s fifth season, and her return to the small screen came late last year in a two-part Christmas special for the When Hope Calls series.
Earlier this summer, she appeared on her first red carpet in the wake of the scandal, when she was at RJ’s Place in June for the DesignCare 2022 Gala, benefiting the HollyRod Foundation.