Lori Loughlin's now former Hallmark stars are breaking their silence about the college admissions scandal that has cast a dark shadow over her show, When Calls the Heart.
The actress became the public face of the massive scandal when federal officials said she paid $500,000 to guarantee that her two daughters would be admitted to the University of Southern California as crew athletes, even though neither had ever taken part in a team. Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli were both arrested, and the actress was dropped from projects including her work with the Hallmark Channel. The scheme involved many other high-profile business executives as well as fellow actress Felicity Huffman, but most of the attention has fallen on Loughlin for her alleged role in it.
As USA Today reported, some of her former co-stars are now speaking out, thanking fans for support through the difficult time while making oblique references to the difficulties that the scandal caused them. Paul Green, who plays Carson Shepherd on the show, thanked fans for their "amazing love and support through this tough spot."
"I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that I appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love and support over the past week," wrote Andrea Brooks, who plays Faith Carter on the show. "Your kindness and dedication does not go unnoticed. I love being a part of this family. Thank you."
Some fans worried that the scandal would lead When Calls the Heart to be canceled, but executive producer Brad Bird took to Instagram to assure them that it would be returning to the air, though hinted that Loughlin's scenes may be altered.
"With the full support of the network, we have gone on a creative hiatus to do some retooling on the remaining Season 6 episodes," Bird wrote on Instagram.
Fans of Fuller House are also left wondering how the show will address the exit of the beloved character Aunt Becky Katsopolis. Some fans have expressed fears that she could be killed off the Netflix comedy like Roseanne Barr's character was abruptly ripped from Roseanne after her scandal last year.
Talk show host Wendy Williams is hoping that's how Aunt Becky will go out, advocating for the Netflix comedy to kill her off.Others fans believe that Fuller House will likely deal with Lori Loughin's departure in the same way it addressed the absence of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who declined to return to play Michelle Tanner. Through its first few seasons, the show has made references to Michelle and her absence even though she never appeared on camera.