‘Varsity Blues’ Documentary Sheds New Light on Shocking College Admissions Scandal

Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli Varisty Blues Documentary College Admissions Bribery
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli depart federal court after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal on April 3, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Charles Krupa/AP/Shutterstock

Things just keep getting more complicated for Lori Loughlin. When she and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, filed a motion in Massachusetts federal court in December 2019 accusing the FBI of withholding evidence, Loughlin, 55, insisted that the documents would exonerate them for their alleged involvement in the college admissions bribery scandal. However, when the government responded by releasing a trove of papers on January 17, the new details appeared to only strengthen the case against the Fuller House alum.

The massive 526-page motion included dozens of heavily redacted emails, documents and call transcripts — many of them seem to be exchanges between Loughlin, Giannulli, 56, and college consultant William Rick Singer — that illustrate how the pair allegedly worked with Singer to create fake profiles designating their daughters, Bella, 21, and Olivia Jade, 20, as rowing recruits (even though neither participated in the sport) and allegedly paid $500,000 to a sham charity to get the girls into the University of Southern California.

College Admissions Scandal: Varsity Blues will shed even more light on the cheating and bribery scandal. The REELZ documentary exposes how desperate, well-to-do parents are drawn into illegal schemes involving prestigious universities, crooked athletic coaches and shady college counselors to game the system for their kids. It also answers the question of whether the recent cases (known as Operation Varsity Blues), which brought charges against 50 people in six states, are just the tip of the iceberg, and whether the college admissions system has always been rigged.

While Loughlin and Giannulli have argued that the payments were part of a legitimate practice in which universities “regularly solicit donations from the families of prospective students,” the new documents uncover more information. One falsified profile created for Bella describes her as “an incredibly positive-minded coxswain” who “puts extra effort into everything she does.” In another exchange, when a USC official asked Giannulli if they could set up a tour and “flag” her application, he seemingly responded, “I think we are all squared away.” After writing a $200,000 check to Singer’s fake charity, the fashion designer forwarded the invoice to his financial adviser, seemingly calling it “the last college ‘donation’ for his younger daughter. Loughlin and Giannulli face up to 40 years in prison on fraud, bribery and money-laundering charges.

Meanwhile, Felicity Huffman is moving on with her life after pleading guilty to having a proctor correct her 19-year-old daughter Sophia’s SAT scores then serving 11 days of a two-week prison sentence last October. The Desperate Housewives alum, 57, also paid a $30,000 fine and is putting in 250 hours of community service at the nonprofit organization, the Teen Project.

Loughlin — who was accused of withholding evidence by federal prosecutors last month — is awaiting her trial, which is scheduled to begin later this year.

College Admissions Scandal: Varsity Blues airs on Saturday, February 8 at 8 p.m. ET on REELZ

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