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Hallmark Channel is severing ties with Lori Loughlin after the actress was arrested in a college admissions bribery scandal.
Loughlin, who stars on the cabler’s series When Calls the Heart and in the Garage Sale Mystery TV movies, will no longer work with the network, Hallmark parent Crown Media said Thursday in a statement. Loughlin also appeared in several of Hallmark’s popular Christmas movies.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” the company said. “We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third-party production.”
Hallmark has also pulled When Calls the Heart from its schedule for this Sunday and is “evaluating all creative options” related to the series, the network said.
Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, were among almost 50 people indicted in a nationwide college admissions scandal, in which prosecutors alleged families paid bribes to college officials and fabricated standardized test scores to gain admissions into schools including Yale, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
Others charged include actress Felicity Huffman, Hollywood investor Bill McGlashan and several athletic coaches and administrators at the colleges. William “Rick” Singer, who ran a college prep business in Newport Beach, California, has pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in connection with the scam.
Loughlin was taken into custody Wednesday and freed on $1 million bond. A condition of her release was that she be able to travel to Vancouver for work; both When Calls the Heart and the Garage Sale Mystery films shoot in and around the Canadian city.
Giannulli and Loughlin are alleged to have paid $500,000 to USC via Singer’s company to have their daughters designated as recruits for the school’s crew team — even though neither one rowed — to guarantee their admission. Daughters Olivia and Isabella Giannulli posed for pictures on rowing machines as part of the scam, prosecutors say. Other parents also fabricated athletic accomplishments for their children, according to court documents.
When Calls the Heart, in its sixth season, averages better than 2 million viewers for initial airings.
March 14, 2:45 p.m. Updated with When Calls the Heart being pulled.
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