FBI Operation ‘Varsity Blues’ Turns a Darker Shade for Actresses Embroiled in US College Admissions Scandal

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US Hollywood stars Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are amongst the 45 parents being sued in a $500 billion lawsuit after it was revealed that they used illegal channels to get their children into college.

Californian mother Jennifer Kay Toy, the woman filing the suit, claims that her son Joshua did not get admitted to several colleges caught up in the scandal, despite his 4.2 grade average, because of the “despicable actions” of the parents involved.

Writing in the lawsuit, she said that her son was denied entrance “for some undisclosed reason”, claiming that it was not because of his grades but because “wealthy individuals felt that it was ok to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children’s way into a good college”.

This is just the latest class action lawsuit being filed in connection to the scandal.

Two Stanford University students filed a federal class-action lawsuit on Wednesday against several universities, including Stanford and Yale, claiming that their degree has now been devalued as a result of the scandal.

‘Operation Varsity Blues’, the name of the FBI investigation that has so far indicted fifty people involved in the scandal, has uncovered a web of illegality stemming back to 2011 with over $25m in bribes being paid.

William ‘Rick’ Singer has been named as the mastermind behind the scandal. A self-proclaimed expert in the process of university admissions, Singer has aided numerous wealthy parents in getting their children into college by either manipulating exam results or faking sports talent to allow for lower entrance requirements.

Huffman chose the avenue of manipulating exam results. Singer advised her to falsify her eldest daughter’s medical records to show her to have learning disabilities to assure for extra time and the chance to sit the college entrance exams at an external centre.

Singer then employed the talents of Mark Riddle, a thirty-six-year-old ex-tennis professional, who would sit the exams for Huffman’s daughter and numerous others. In order not to arouse suspicion, Riddle would achieve a score that reflected the realities of the child’s capabilities.

Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 for Singer to falsify both of their daughters’ sporting ability in order to gain entrance to the University of Southern California.

The youngest of the Loughlin daughters, Olivia Jade, 19, a YouTube influencer with nearly 2 million subscribers, has lost numerous partnership deals with big brands following the scandal. Dolce & Gabbana, Sephora, and Boohoo have all pulled the plug on sponsorship deals with the blogger.

Her mother, Full House star Lori Loughlin, has fared no better with Netflix and the Hallmark Channel all dropping the actress from the shows she stars in.

Loughlin and Giannulli, released on bail for $1m each, and Huffman released on a $250,000 bond, all face their next court date on March 29th.

Image: [The Atlantic]