Home Entertainment Hallmark cuts ties with Lori Loughlin after admissions scandal; fate of 'Heart' uncertain – USA TODAY

Hallmark cuts ties with Lori Loughlin after admissions scandal; fate of 'Heart' uncertain – USA TODAY

7 min read

Lori Loughlin has been ousted by Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media, after she was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a sweeping college admissions scheme.

On Wednesday, Loughlin appeared in court and was released on a $1 million bail. She and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly agreed to pay $500,000 to guarantee their two daughters – Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose – admission to the University of Southern California as members of the crew team, though neither was an athlete.

By Thursday, the scandal had impacted Loughlin’s career, with Crown Media announcing it was cutting ties with the “Full House” star, who had long been a staple on its networks.

More: What we know about Olivia Jade, Lori Loughlin’s daughter caught up in admissions scandal

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“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. 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,” Crown Media Family Networks said in a statement sent to USA TODAY. 

Loughlin, 54, played Abigail Stanton on the the Hallmark Channel’s drama “When Calls the Heart,” which captured a series-best 2.5 million viewers during February’s Season 6 premiere, finishing second to “The Walking Dead” in Sunday night cable dramas.

Despite the show’s success, Hallmark said they will not air “When Calls the Heart” Sunday amid the scandal, leaving the remainder of the season up in the air. 

“We are evaluating all creative options related to the ‘When Calls the Heart’ series,” the network told USA TODAY in a statement. 

The drama series films in Canada, where a judge has allowed Loughlin to travel for work until she’s to surrender her passport in December, unless further ordered by the court. 

Most recently, Loughlin was in the middle of production of the latest chapter of “Garage Sale Mysteries,” a movie franchise on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries that the company also dropped Thursday. 

Her other projects for Hallmark included 2016’s “Every Christmas Has a Story” and 2018’s “Homegrown Christmas,” the most-watched nonsports cable program the week it aired.

Loughlin has also appeared on the “Full House” reboot “Fuller House,” on Netflix, which was recently renewed for a fifth and final season. The streaming service declined to comment on Loughlin’s status on the series, but did note that production for the final season has not begun. 

Earlier Thursday, Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade had a similar blow when Sephora announced it was no longer working with the social media influencer. 

Olivia Jade had a longtime Instagram partnership with the cosmetics powerhouse, introducing the $28 Olivia Jade Sephora Bronze & Illuminate Palette with the Sephora Collection in December. However, Thursday, a rep for the retailer, Emily Shapiro, issued a statement from the company to USA TODAY that said its working relationship was finished.

“After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” the statement read. 

“Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman was also charged in connection with the sweeping $25 million scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and insiders at college testing centers to help get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country.

Contributing: Maria Puente, Bryan Alexander 

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