Lori Loughlin's daughters no longer enrolled at California university amid admissions scandal

Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli exit a Boston court after a pre-trial hearing on Aug 27, 2019.
Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli exit a Boston court after a pre-trial hearing on Aug 27, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (WASHINGTON POST) - The daughters of two of the most prominent parents accused in a national college-admissions scandal are no longer attending the University of Southern California (USC), according to university officials.

"Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli are not currently enrolled," USC officials announced in a written statement on Monday evening (Oct 21).

"We are unable to provide additional information because of student privacy laws."

Their parents are actress Lori Loughlin, who gained fame in the 1980s and 1990s TV situation comedy Full House, and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.

The scheme prosecutors named Operation Varsity Blues attracted national attention because it drew on the anxiety many families feel about college admissions, because it showed the lengths some parents were willing to go to get a prestigious education for their children and because prominent people were among those accused.

One family stood out, because several members - including one of the daughters - are well known.

Loughlin and Giannulli were accused by prosecutors of paying a total of US$500,000 (S$680,000) to a college-admissions consultant, William "Rick" Singer, to help their daughters gain admission to USC.

The couple have pleaded not guilty to two conspiracy counts.

An attorney for the couple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Olivia Jade Giannulli was a social-media influencer, with nearly two million YouTube subscribers and more than a million Instagram followers when the scandal broke.

Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli were among dozens of parents accused this year by the US attorney for Massachusetts, who described a scheme in which wealthy parents paid Singer to get fraudulent standardised test scores for their children and, in some cases, present them as athletic recruits to secure their admission to elite schools.

 
 

Singer has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and other charges in the case.

Another prominent Hollywood figure charged in the scheme, actress Felicity Huffman, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two weeks in jail for paying US$15,000 in a conspiracy to inflate the SAT score of her older daughter - a punishment that set a benchmark for what other accused parents could face in the college admissions bribery scandal.

USC found itself at the centre of the sweeping scheme, with current and former employees charged by prosecutors.

In August, USC officials announced that a case-by-case review of 33 students potentially connected to the situation was under way, that they had denied admission to applicants with a connection and that the school had yet to determine what to do about former students who may have been involved.