“I understand that I have contributed to exacerbating inequalities” and “I will do anything to redeem myself” : American actress Lori Loughlin had her mea culpa on Friday August 21 after being sentenced to two months in prison for being among wealthy parents who paid to guarantee their children’s entry to prestigious universities.
In this vast scandal revealing the inequalities of the American university system, the actress, known especially for her role in the series Home party in the years 1980-1990, was with Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) the most famous figure. “I am sincerely and deeply sorry”Lori Loughlin said with tears in her eyes during the hearing before the Boston federal judge who set her sentence. “I believe in God and in redemption, and I will do all in my power to redeem myself”.
Rowing as a blanket
The 56-year-old actress, whose career was cut short by the affair, said she learned from the“Awful decision” which led her and her husband to pay an intermediary $ 500,000 to guarantee the admission of their two daughters to the University of Southern California (USC).
They had agreed with the mastermind of the operation, William Singer, that their daughters would be presented as good recruits for the college rowing team, although they did not play the sport. . “I thought I was acting out of love for my children (…) I now understand that my decisions have contributed to exacerbating inequalities in general, and those of the education system in particular”, recognized Mme Loughlin.
In addition to her prison sentence, she will be fined $ 150,000 and undergo two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
” A dream life “
If the sentence is relatively lenient, federal judge Nathaniel Gorton gave him a moral lesson on Friday, by videoconference due to the pandemic: “You were an admired actress, with a solid marriage, beautiful children, more money than you needed, living in a beautiful house in Southern California – a dream life”. “Now I have before me a convicted criminal. Why ? Due to the inexplicable desire for more, for the prestige and gratification that comes with being able to boast that one’s children have been admitted to a university of choice, he continued. We can only hope that you will spend the rest of your beautiful life (…) fixing the damage you have done to the system “.
Earlier on Friday, the actress’s husband, stylist Mossimo Giannulli, was sentenced to 5 months in prison and a $ 250,000 fine. According to investigators, it had been “The most active” in organizing these privileges for their daughters.
The sentences were expected since the couple pleaded guilty in May to one count of fraudulent bank transfer.
Light sentences for parents
In return for the guilty plea, which saved the couple a trial, the Massachusetts federal prosecutor, as is common in the United States, dropped two other charges and recommended more lenient sentences.
Hailed as a foundation, William Singer’s organization is said to have received a total of $ 25 million from well-to-do parents eager to see their children admitted to prestigious universities such as Yale, Georgetown or Stanford.
Of the 55 people indicted in the scandal, 41 have already pleaded guilty, including Mr Singer. Many parents received sentences limited to a few months of incarceration.
One of the first parents to plead guilty, actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison. She finally spent 11 days behind bars last October.