She was all smiles ahead of her court appearance to face charges in the college admissions bribery case. Actress Lori Loughlin signed autographs after landing in Boston, Massachusetts, a day before her court date on Wednesday, People magazine reported. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have been accused of bribing officials with a whopping $500,000 in order to get their daughters to be designated as University of Southern California crew team recruits.
In mid-March, Loughlin was arrested, then later released on a $1 million bail bond, according to The Cut. The Full House actress surrendered her passport and also agreed to abide by travel restrictions, according to the publication.
Autograph collector Robert Schepis told People that Loughlin was "super friendly" and "willing to sign autographs" outside her hotel Tuesday. The publication noted that the actress signed some 20 autographs. Schepis told People that Loughlin briefly talked to onlookers about her film, Rad. "She came over," Schepis told the outlet, "and she goes, 'Guys, thanks for being such good fans. Oh my God, I love Rad. Thank you so much for waiting for me.'"
As big a controversy as this college admissions scam is, Loughlin appeared jovial on Wednesday alongside her husband as they entered the Boston courthouse. In a video uploaded by ABC News, Loughlin is seen beaming at her fans. One onlooker even says to Loughlin, "Pay for my tuition, Lori!"
Loughlin's court appearance comes a few weeks after the actress' social media accounts were deleted amid the college admissions scandal in mid-March. Immediately after reports about the college admissions scam — dubbed Operation Varsity Blues — came out, the criticism flooded on social media, with reactions ranging from discussions about wealth and privilege to tongue-in-cheek references and memes about Loughlin's character Aunt Becky from Full House.
That same month, Loughlin's daughter Rose Giannulli turned her Instagram profile private. However, Loughlin's other daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, who is currently at the University of Southern California, continues to keep her Instagram and YouTube profiles open to the public eye.
Many have found the details about the bribery case troublesome and evident of the influence of money on college admissions, which some have asserted is a privilege that many students who struggle financially do not have.
E! News obtained the court file on the case, which stated, "Beginning in or about 2011, and continuing through the present, the defendants — principally individuals whose high school aged children were applying to college — conspired with others to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate their children's admission to colleges and universities in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, including Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California, and the University of California – Los Angeles, among others."
Given such circumstances, Loughlin's outwardly cheerful appearance on Wednesday may surprise some. After all, according to NBC News, Loughlin is facing a felony charge involving fraud. And if the actress is convicted, E! News reported that she could be sent to jail for up to five years.