- 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.
Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”
The church has been accused of having anti-LGBTQ ties, something Pratt has taken a hit for.
Pratt Addresses Hillsong Controversy
After several years of facing criticism for his alleged ties to the controversial Hillsong Church, actor Chris Pratt said he has “never actually been” to the church and is “not a religious person.”
The Hillsong Church has been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. The issue received increased attention in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.”
“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides,” he continued.
At the time, Pratt responded to the allegations by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” and that he believes “everyone is entitled to love who they want.” He doubled down on his denial in a profile published Tuesday in Men’s Health.
“I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong,” he told the outlet. “I don’t know anyone from that church.”
Instead, Pratt said he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively. According to Men’s Health, Zoe Church is not without its issues. The church was founded by a pastor who produced a film that equated “sexual brokeness” to “same-sex attraction.” Other outlets have also described it as a Hillsong affiliate.
Pratt faced his biggest wave of backlash in 2020 when Internet memes declared him the “worst” Chris compared to other actors with the same first name, including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine. A slew of celebrities quickly came to Pratt’s defense, arguing the criticism was unjustifiably mean. Their speedy responses only heightened the online conversation and many of the celebrities who spoke out were eventually mocked for doing so.
Pratt Says He is Not Religious
As for why the Internet has become increasingly anti-Pratt, his alleged association to Hillsong was a major factor. Some also speculated he was a supporter of Donald Trump as he did not join his “Avengers” co-stars for a Joe Biden fundraiser, though Pratt is not usually politically outspoken in either direction.
Pratt believes the backlash against him started when he gave a speech at the MTV Movie Awards in 2018 where he said, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He understands why those remarks may have rubbed people the wrong way.
“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he told Men’s Health. “Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time. I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”
He went on to explain that in his eyes, there is a difference between adhering to certain customs and believing in God versus using God to control and harm people and justify hatred.
“The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride,” he said.
See what others are saying: (Men’s Health) (The AV Club) (People)
Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.
Actress Pushed at Protest
After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights.
Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”
Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.
Sweetin Addresses Incident
Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over.
“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”
Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.
According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter.
“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.
Theater Named Announced
Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title.
The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”
Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”
Chappelle Defends Controversial Special
According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students.
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.
Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda.
“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said.
“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special.
According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready.