Stars Are Still Reeling Over College Admissions Scandal

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Operation Varsity Blues continues to rock the nation.

Celebrities including Katie Couric, Jay Leno and Julia Roberts are still reeling over the college admissions scam, allegedly involving Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.

The actresses were among the dozens of parents named and charged on March 12 for allegedly paying bribes to help their kids get into high-profile universities, including the University of Southern California, Yale, Georgetown and Stanford.

The Full House alum and husband Mossimo Giannulli share daughters Bella, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19. According to court docs, the couple allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”

Bella, an aspiring actress, and Olivia, who has nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers, have reportedly decided not to return to USC in light of the scandal.

Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, were both arrested and subsequently each released on a $1 million bond. They have yet to publicly comment on their alleged involvement.

Huffman, meanwhile, is the mother of daughters Sofia, 18, and Georgia, 16, with husband William H. Macy. While the Shameless star has not been charged, the Desperate Housewives alum was accused of making a charitable donation of $15,000 “to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter,” per paperwork.

The American Crime star, 56, was arrested at her Los Angeles home on March 12 and released on a $250,000 bond later that day. She has also stayed mum on the alleged scam.

Scroll through for the latest reactions from stars about the scandal:

Don Lemon

The journalist told Us Weekly while attending the Groundbreaker Awards at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on April 24 that, while he has no thoughts on whether the Full House alum should be found guilty, he does think Huffman made the wiser choice in pleading guilty. “I think the college admissions process should be fair and I think that Felicity Huffman made the right move,” he told Us. “She took responsibility. She said she was sorry. She apologized to the kids who were hurt and everyone involved, it would be great if [Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli] could do that and just take their justice services.”

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Kim Kardashian

The reality star spoke out about her problem with the scandal on April 20. “If [my kids] couldn’t get into a school, I would never want to use privilege to try to force them into a situation that they wouldn’t thrive in anyway,” she said on The Van Jones Show. “That’s what I see is not appropriate. … I want my kids to be as grounded as possible. To buy your way into something just wouldn’t benefit anybody.”

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David Muir

“I think it’s a difficult story, perhaps, for those families who are directly involved, and I think it shines an important spotlight on how expensive and how difficult it is for so many other families across this country, and there are young people who are there really fighting the right way through academics and not giving up, and to think there are places in schools that might have been taken by somebody else who had influence or money to get there,” the news anchor told Us Weekly exclusively at the Time 100 Gala on April 23. “Anything we can do to shine a spotlight on that and help get young people who deserve a spot into these schools.”

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Martha Stewart

The Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge cohost refused to share any wisdom with Loughlin and Huffman on April 23. “No advice for those ladies,” she told Us Weekly exclusively at the Time 100 Gala.

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Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin

“People go to jail for that, so you should,” Kramer said on the April 15 episode of her “Whine Down” podcast with husband Mike Caussin. However, the One Tree Hill alum noted that she doesn’t think Loughlin and Huffman’s public personas should affect the case. “What I don’t agree with is making a, ‘Well, they’re a celebrity, so we have to prove a point.’ I don’t like that.”

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Paul Greene

The When Calls the Heart actor supported former costar Loughlin after she was fired from the Hallmark show. “It’s probably exactly how fans are imagining. We’ve all known Lori for a really long time, and when someone’s your friend and something happens to them, you don’t stop being their friend,” he said on the April 15 episode of the “I Could Never Be” podcast. “You support, no matter what happens. So, that has been there, especially from me.”

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Erin Krakow

Krakow supported her former When Calls the Heart costar by sharing a bittersweet quote from the series via Twitter on April 8: “‘You are always there for me.’ ‘And I always will be.’”

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Martha Stewart

“It’s just embarrassing for a family to go through what they’re going through and horrifying that it even occurred,” the domestic guru told Entertainment Tonight on April 11. “It’s a sad thing.”

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Dana Delany

“I just think that Felicity gave the perfect statement. And I think she’s handling it very well,” the Code actress told Us Weekly on April 11, commending her former Desperate Housewives costar. “I just wish her the best.”

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Abby Lee Miller

“My advice would be, ‘Take a deep breath and if you need a consultant, I’m your girl,’” the Dance Moms star, who previously served prison time bankruptcy fraud, told Inside Edition on April 9 when asked what words of wisdom she would impart to anyone jailed for the scam. “Be respectful of everyone, keep a low profile, be kind to people. Tell your story, but listen.”

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Harry Hamlin

“It’s a real shame mainly for the kids, you know?” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills husband told Us on April 8. “I just feel very badly for the kids because they’re going to suffer the most in this situation and I’m sure they didn’t need to do it. … These kids are not dumb, they’re smart kids. And for some reason they must’ve just, they were somehow attracted to the idea that they could have something on their resume that they probably could’ve gotten without having to go through these hoops, you know? So, it’s just a shame all the way around, and it probably will change a lot of things about how admissions are done now.”

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Ashley Williams

“Yeah, that was a complicated situation but I was very proud of how Hallmark handled it. Very, very proud,” the Love on a Limb actress told Us on April 2, referring to the company’s decision to cut ties with Loughlin. “The brand of Hallmark is one of loyalty and faith and goodness and making the right choice, so I wasn’t surprised at all. And I was very, very proud that they did what they did in such a swift and responsible and respectful manner.”

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Mara Wilson

“I’m not that surprised,” the former child star told Us Weekly at the Hollywood premiere of Killing Eve season 2 on April 1. “I sometimes wondered if I was given an unfair advantage because I had the childhood that I did. But I mean, my parents never would have done that. I don’t understand it. I think there’s so much pressure to be a certain way. … I think that there is this sort of idea [that] you need to keep up appearances. … And I think it’s kind of sad in a way too that people feel so desperate to do that.”

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Mario Lopez

“Obviously, it’s an unfortunate story, and I happen to know Felicity and Lori, and the people involved are nice people,” the Extra host exclusively told Us on March 31. “Sometimes, nice people make mistakes and do tough stuff. You know, as a parent, you want to do anything for your kid but sometimes that can get a little cloudy. … The whole ordeal I think was just sort of shocking to hear. … I like them a lot, and it’s sad to hear, and I know they’re going through it. So God bless them and their families.”

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Marcia Gay Harden

“I’m from the South — at least, my parents are — [and] when people make choices that aren’t good, you kind of say, ‘Bless their heart,’” the Code Black alum explained to Us and other reporters at the 2019 Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala Dinner on March 30. “I feel badly for their need to make those choices that were not good choices for their children. These are my friends. When your hair is out of place, you don’t need someone to scream it from the rapture, you just need someone to fix it.”

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Ross Mathews

“It just seems so yucky!” the RuPaul’s Drag Race judge told Us at the HRC gala. “I understand parents wanting the best for their children, but we all deserve a fair shot. I think [they] were taking that fair shot away from people, which is unfortunate. … I know Felicity and I know Lori. Of course, I love them. I think they mean really well, and I wish them nothing but the best. I hope this is a learning moment for everybody. … I don’t think they are awful people. I know them. I think they are great people. I think this [may have] seemed like something that wasn’t so bad in their eyes. When you look at it on paper, it’s like, ‘Oh, s–t, that’s not fair. It’s so disgustingly privileged.’”

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Dr. Dre

The record producer seemingly shaded Lori Loughlin after his daughter, Truly Young, got accepted into the University of Southern California, the same school the actress’ daughters got into allegedly through bribery. “My daughter got accepted into USC all on her own,” Dr. Dre captioned an Instagram picture of himself and his child showing off her acceptance letter on March 23. “No jail time!!!”

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Chris O’Dowd

“It’s not ideal,” the Get Shorty actor told Us on March 19 about his costar Huffman’s alleged involvement. “I don’t know her massively well. Oddly, on the show, we didn’t work together that often. But, you know, I know she loves her kids, and I’m sure this is a very trying time for them all.”

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Katie Couric

“It’s shocking and upsetting, but I do think it’s an opportunity to reevaluate the whole system, how it works and the madness that is often associated with getting into a top college,” the journalist, who is the mother of two adult daughters, told Us at the Mumbai Hotel screening on March 17. “It’s become such a rat race, and I think people have lost perspective, and I think it just underscores this inequality that exists in our culture.”

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Angela Bassett

The Black Panther actress shares 13-year-old twins Bronwyn and Slater with husband Courtney B. Vance. “To the degree that it was Photoshopping, and other folks taking tests and making your kid think that they’re taking the test, yeah, I was … disappointed,” Bassett told Us at the PaleyFest Los Angeles 9-1-1 event on March 17. “But it doesn’t surprise me.”

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Julia Roberts

“That to me is so sad because I feel, from an outsider, that it says a little bit, ‘I don’t have enough faith in you.’ … My husband [Danny Moder] and I are very aligned on that front,” the mother of three told ITV on March 15. “I think that we live a very normal experience with our children. Obviously, we have advantages that we didn’t have as children. But I think that’s the unique part of it, coming from the childhood that I have. You do need to know how to make your bed and do your laundry and make one meal. These are important life skills.”

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Erika Jayne

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, who has an adult son, told Us on March 15 that she doesn’t think the alleged actions of their parents involved is anything “new.” 

 

“I think it’s been going on since the beginning of time,” she told Us at the grand opening of the MCM Global Flagship on Rodeo Drive, noting that anyone who is surprised “must be dumb because everybody’s doing it, celebrity or not.”

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Jay Leno

“It’s the perfect news story. Rich white people … poor people being screwed out of college education, they’re famous … you know who they are, and they got plenty of money, and fancy colleges are involved,” the former Tonight Show host told Us on March 13. “If you’re at DeVry University or some junior college, you’re going … good, screw Yale, screw Harvard. You know?” 

 

Leno added that the scandal is “the ultimate white privilege story.” 

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Coco Rocha

“When my kids come to that age or anything where they want to do something, you gotta do it on your own,” the model, who shares 3-year-old daughter Ioni with husband James Conran, told Us at the Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards grand opening on March 14. “It’s a good life lesson.”

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Rockmond Dunbar

“Growing up I heard about it all the time, y’know,” the actor, who is the father of 5-year-old Berkeley with wife Maya Gilbert, told Us at the PaleyFest Los Angeles 9-1-1 event on March 17. “It was just like yeah if you had the money to do it, you did it. But when you start robbing Uncle Sam, that’s a little bit of a issue, right?” 

 

“I didn’t know that that much was going on. Mostly what I heard of from before is like you donate some money to the school, you make a building in your name and your kid goes for free,” Dunbar continued. “You go and do a couple of appearances and teach a couple of classes and your kid kinda gets in, even they weren’t smart enough to get it in.” 

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Nicollette Sheridan

Huffman’s former Desperate Housewives costar called the scandal “troublesome” during an appearance on Access Hollywood on March 18.

 

“[The system has] been disturbed by the entitlement, the power and money that could take away from less privileged, and that, to me, is disgraceful,” Sheridan said. “I think there are ways to remedy a system that isn’t working and I think has been broken for a long time, so, I don’t want to get into how to fix it, but it’s troublesome.”

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Gilles Marini

“You know, to be honest, this is nothing new, I’ve been hearing stuff like this for a long time. … Especially with athletes,” the Devious Maids alum, who is the father two teenagers, told Us at the grand opening of The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails at The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas on March 15. “I know it’s not ethical, I’m not going to throw any rocks [at Lori], but I think these massive corporations, the education system here, making sure that if you don’t go to college, you don’t have a life. And that’s wrong, education is not meant for that. It’s wrong, it’s wrong.”

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Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

While Teigen poked fun at the scandal by photoshopping her face onto a professional soccer player’s body, Legend slammed the “rigged” system. 

 

“The admissions system rewards people’s parents being wealthy and people’s parents having gone to a certain school,” he told ET at the iHeart Radio Music Awards on March 14. “There’s a lot of legal ways to do that that still aren’t really that fair to a lot of other people.” 

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Kelly Bensimon

The Real Housewives of New York City alum is the mother of daughters Sea, 21, and Teddy, 19. “I don’t ever think that you should buy anything for your kids. Like, I don’t believe in that,” Bensimon told Us at the Hudson Yards grand opening event on March 14. “I really have tried to instill value in my kids. And you know, I was really disappointed that someone that we’ve seen growing up with on TV would stoop so low and I was not impressed by that. Maybe [Lori would] be good for Housewives.”

 

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Selma Blair

The actress took aim at the scandal in a since-deleted Instagram post, in which she photoshopped her 7-year-old son Arthur’s face on a rowing team on March 17. “Stoked to have just finished Arthur’s college #admissions papers,” Blair wrote. “And also, doesn’t Arthur look like #marykateolsen. #therow. Get it? Ha.” 

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Jim Carrey

The comedian shared what appeared to be an evil caricature of Loughlin via Twitter on March 18. The pic featured a red letter “F” stamped on the top right corner of the illustration, similar to how assignments are graded in school. Carrey wrote along with the drawing: “It’s not only Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman and their kids, but ALL cheaters who will eventually receive a failing grade.”

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