- Lori Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison Friday while her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was sentenced to five months for their role in the massive college admission scheme.
- The couple was found to have paid $500,000 to get their daughters, Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade, admitted to USC as fake rowing recruits.
- The sentences aligned with their plea agreement from May and also include two years of supervised release, community service, and fines.
- Both gave statements during their hearings, with Loughlin apologizing and promising to use this as “a catalyst to do good and give back for the rest of my life.”
What Were They Charged With?
After more than a year of legal proceedings, actress Lori Loughin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli were sentenced Friday for their role in the college admissions scandal.
Loughlin and Giannulli were arguably the most high profile figures caught participating in this massive scam that was first announced in March 2019. They were both accused of paying the scheme’s mastermind, William “Rick” Singer, $500,000 to secure their daughters, Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade, spots at the University of Southern California as fake rowing recruits.
As the cases against them developed, emails, photos, and other documents were uncovered showing just how far they went to create their daughters’ fake athletic portfolios. At one point they even had their daughters pose on rowing machines.
If they had been found guilty of all the conspiracy charges stacked against them, they could have received up to 20 years in prison. The couple maintained their innocence for more than a year, with their defense attorneys saying they thought they were donating to a legitimate business.
However, the two finally pleaded guilty in May. At that time, they hammered out a plea agreement with prosecutors in exchange for some of the charges being dropped. Loughlin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Giannulli pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and honest services wire and mail fraud.
Sentences Handed Down
On Friday, they were both sentenced during virtual court hearings, with Gianulli’s happening first. U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton gave him a five-month prison sentence that includes two years of supervised release, 250 hours of community service, and a $250,000 fine.
Loughlin was given a two-month sentence, with two years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service, and a $150,000 fine.
As far as why Gianulli faced more charges and prison time, according to prosecutors, evidence suggested Giannulli was the more active participant.
In a sentencing memo released last week, prosecutors wrote, “He engaged more frequently with Singer, directed the bribe payments to USC and Singer, and personally confronted his daughter’s high school counselor to prevent the scheme from being discovered, brazenly lying about his daughter’s athletic abilities.”
“Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit, eagerly enlisting Singer a second time for her younger daughter, and coaching her daughter not to ‘say too much’ to her high school’s legitimate college counselor, lest he catch on to their fraud.”
Apologies and Judge’s Remarks
At each of their hearings, both also made statements, with Giannulli saying: “I deeply regret the harm that my actions have caused my daughters, my wife and others.”
“I take full responsibility for my conduct. I’m ready to accept the consequences and move forward with the lessons I’ve learned from this experience.”
Loughlin, for her part, said, “I made an awful decision. I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage in the college admissions process.”
“In doing so, I ignored my intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass. I thought I was acting out of love for my children, but in reality it only undermined and diminished my daughters’ abilities and accomplishments,” she continued.
“More broadly, and more importantly, I now understand that my decision helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society generally, and the higher education system more specifically. That realization weighs heavily on me.”
She said she wishes she could go back band do things differently but added, “I will do everything in my power to redeem myself and use this experience as a catalyst to do good and give back for the rest of my life. I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry. I am ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
During sentencing, Judge Gorton reportedly told Loughling that he believed her statement was sincere, but said he was dumbfounded by her choices.
“You have more money than you could need — a fairy-tale life, yet you stand before me a convicted felon, and for what? For the inexplicable desire to grasp even more,” he said.
“To have whatever prestige and instant gratification that comes from being able to show off the admission of your daughters to a preferred university.”
In Giannuli’s hearing, Gorton said: “You are an informed, smart businessman. You certainly knew better.”
“You were not stealing bread to feed your family. You have no excuse for your crime and that makes it all the more blameworthy.”
Still, at Gianulli’s hearing, the judge called the sentencing “sufficient but not greater than necessary under the circumstance.” The sentencing lines up with what they had agreed to at the time of their pleas, which left little wiggle room for the judge to veer off.
According to reports, both must surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons before 2 p.m. on November 19.
In all, at least 55 people have been charged in connection with the admissions scheme. Twenty have been sentenced, while more than a dozen others have already pleaded guilty or have agreed to, including coaches, administrators, and test-takers.
Upcoming “Karen” Movie Slammed as Rip-Off of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”
The horror film follows a Black couple that moves into a house next door to a white woman named Karen.
“Karen” Trailer Goes Viral
The viral “Karen” trope is getting the Hollywood treatment, and people on Twitter would like a word with the film industry’s manager.
“Karen” has become a term used to describe entitled, and often racist, white women who are quick to call the cops or complain about customer service when things don’t go exactly their way. The upcoming movie, called “Karen,” is a horror picture that follows a Black couple that moves into a new house next door to a pearl necklace-wearing and Pinot Grigio-drinking white woman. Any guesses on what her name is?
The film, a BET Original, was written and directed by Coke Daniels and stars Taryn Manning as the titular “Karen.” Cory Hardrict and Jasmine Burke play the couple that’s new in town. The trailer was released on Thursday but started gaining traction online this week.
Throughout the trailer, Manning’s character is seen threatening to call the manager at a restaurant, setting up security cameras that look at her new neighbors’ house, and calling the cops on a group of teenagers while they record her in that now-familiar viral format.
She also says that Burke’s character is “slaving away in the kitchen” upon entering her home and tells a group of Black people, “you people are very angry.” It also appears that she owns a soap dispenser with the Confederate flag on it.
In case people watching were unable to put the glaringly obvious puzzle pieces together, a small child eventually says, “She doesn’t like Black people,” in the trailer.
Because the hammer is perhaps hitting the nail a little too harshly on the head, many wondered if it was even a real movie or some kind of “Saturday Night Live” parody.
Twitter Compares Film to “Get Out”
Others thought it looked like the film was ripping off Jordan Peele’s hit horror movie “Get Out,” which is about a Black man meeting his white girlfriend’s family.
“Get Out” was praised for using the horror genre to provide nuanced commentary and observations on racism in America. Peele won an Academy Award for the film’s original screenplay, and it was also nominated for Best Picture. “Karen,” on the other hand, is not likely to wind up part of the awards conversation come 2021.
Daniels ended up sharing an article comparing his upcoming project to “Get Out” on his Instagram story, also apologizing for bringing Peele into the online discourse.
Daniels previously told Deadline that he wrote this film in 2020 as discussions about race relations in the United States were reaching a boiling point.
“Last year during the global pandemic and civil unrest, I — like many of us — felt anger, despair and hopelessness,” he said. “The overwhelming amount of support from people around the globe, who want to see change, has been such an inspiration.”
“Karen” does not yet have a release date.
See what others are saying: (Esquire) (CNN) (Independent)
Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player To Come Out as Gay
While making his announcement, the athlete also pledged a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
Nassib Comes Out
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, made history on Monday as the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in an Instagram video, along with a longer written statement.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for,” he said in the post.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he continued.
“I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project.”
He also noted that he was thankful for the support from his NFL coaches and fellow players. “From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he wrote.
Praise From Sports Community
Nassib’s announcement was met with praise from his team on social media, as well as other athletes and the NFL itself.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on behalf of the league, saying that it “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth.”
Several football fans and commentators, including sports reporter Jemele Hill, also pointed to the potential impact his bravery could have.
“Carl Nassib likely isn’t the only active gay player in the NFL, but him coming forward will be huge for those who haven’t gotten there yet,” HIll tweeted. “Very courageous decision that will not only help other players but so many young people in this country.”
See what others are saying:(ESPN)(The New York Times)(NBC News)
Billie Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Racist Slur in Old Clip
Eilish said she is “appalled and embarrassed” to have mouthed along to a song containing the term, which she did not know was a slur at the time.
Video Shows Billie Eilish Using Slur
Singer Billie Eilish apologized Monday night for mouthing an anti-Asian racial slur in an old video that recently resurfaced on social media.
The clip was featured in a compilation that went viral on TikTok. In it, she was mouthing along to the song “Fish” by Tyler the Creator, which contains the slur. The compilation also showed her speaking in a voice that many interpreted as her mocking foreign accents or languages.
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this,” Eilish wrote on her Instagram story. “And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”
Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Term
The “Bad Guy” singer said she was 13 or 14 at the time the video was taken, and claimed she had no idea the word was a derogatory term at the time.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” Eilish wrote. “This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
Regarding accusations that she mocked foreign accents and languages, the singer said she was speaking a “silly gibberish” that she made up as a child and uses around her pets, family, and friends in a joking manner.
“It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST,” she added. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
“Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” she continued.
The Grammy Award-winner said that she wants to use her platform to promote “inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality.” She closed her statement by telling her followers that it is important for people to listen and learn when it comes to conversations about these subjects.
Read her full apology below.