Almost four years after Laurie Laughlin was indicted in connection with the college admissions scandal, she reflected on how she had fallen on hard times.
Laurie Laughlin visited the first red carpet after her imprisonment: photos
“This is a community, this is a family, and all the people who work here are so wonderful,” the 57—year-old Full House graduate said about working with Project Angel Food during the “Lead With Love 3” telethon on Saturday, July. 23. “They welcomed me with such open arms at a time when I was feeling particularly depressed and broken. That’s how I found a home here, and I feel what they’ve done for me, and that’s why I’m so proud to be here and work with this organization, because they really care about me. It’s really a community.”
She added: “It’s more than just feeding people, it’s loving people and helping people. And I think it’s so important, and I’m so proud to be a part of Project Angel Food.”
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Laughlin appeared on the air of a charity event that was broadcast on radio station KTLA 5 in Los Angeles to help the organization raise awareness about the fight against food insecurity in the area.
“I’ve been working with Project Angel Food for a year and a half, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life,” the graduate of “When the Heart Calls” said on Saturday. “I had to work everywhere — packed a lot of cereal, packed a lot of fruit. Bags and bags of fruit. I like to do delivery most of all: I have the same delivery route, once a week, I see the same people, and it’s so nice to connect with these people. Often they cannot leave their homes.”
Laughlin’s Saturday appearance marks the first time she has publicly stated her involvement in the scandal. The Hallmark actress and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were charged in May 2019 with paying more than $500,000 in bribes to help their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Bella Giannulli, enroll at the University of Southern California. Almost a year later, the couple pleaded guilty to fraud before each served a prison sentence. Laughlin served two months and was released in December 2020.
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After her release, the New York native returned to acting, appearing in the WCTH spin-off, “When Hope Calls,” and continued to focus on her volunteer efforts at Project Angel Food long after she completed 100 hours of community service by court order in February 2021.
“She has served her time in prison and completed her probation, community service and paid all her court fines,” a source told Us Weekly in October 2021, noting that Laughlin hopes to “put the past behind her.”