Jack Wagner Felt ‘Five Stages of Grief’ After Lori Loughlin’s Departure From ‘When Calls the Heart’

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Actor Jack Wagner said he went through the “five stages of grief” after Lori Loughlin’s departure from Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart.

In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight, Wagner, who plays Bill Avery on the series, compared Loughlin’s exit to “the five stages of grief.”

“I can’t describe it any better than that,” he said.

“When you lose something or someone, I would describe it that way,” he added.

Hallmark cut ties with Loughlin, who played Mayor Abigail Stanton on the show, after she was arrested for her involvement in the college cheating scandal for which she has been accused of paying $500,000 to get her daughters admitted to the University of Southern California.

The actress had been with the show since its 2014 inception and fans wondered if the show would return after she departed.

Fans will be happy to know that the show will go on. Brian Bird, one of the When Calls The Heart producers, shared on Instagram that life throws us many curveballs and the only way to survive is to walk through them with courage, grace and hope.

When Calls the Heart is slated to return to airwaves for season six in a two-night event on May 5 and May 6. ET also reported that the show has been renewed for a seventh season.

As for getting on without Loughlin and moving past the controversy, Wager commented that it was “a real group effort.”

The actor also said he was happy that the show is coming back.

“I think it’s a testament to the show itself, that it’s on its feet again and it’s survived quite a few different things in the six years and now going into seven years, so I’m really proud to be a part of it. It’s really found a place in my heart. Just being in that pioneer town as an actor is just a really special feeling,” he said.

Wagner did not discuss how the show was handling Loughlin’s departure, but he did say the cast was “grateful to come together” as they began “lovingly moving ahead.”

He said when a show loses a key character, it is important to regroup, adding that ultimately what happened with Loughlin’s departure was about how the show was going to move forward. He said everyone showed up, hit their marks and were doing their best.

When speaking about the fans of the series, Wagner said they have been loyal and that they should know that all the cast and crew at Hallmark would return that loyalty.