When faced with the prospect of serving hard jail time as a result of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get your kids into the party school of their choice, as well as the demise of a successful career playing an antiques dealer who solves mysteries, most people would probably keep their heads down and try to avoid attracting attention as much as possible. Most people, however, aren’t Aunt Becky.
On Wednesday, actress Lori Loughlin, who is best known for portraying Rebecca “Becky” Donaldson on the beloved 1990s sitcom Full House (and on the recent reboot Fuller House) seemed blissfully unaware of her dire legal circumstances as she signed autographs for fans outside a Boston courthouse. Clad in a camel hair coat, a grey sweater, and oversized black-rimmed glasses, Loughlin was all smiles as she posed with fans, with some supporters shouting, “Free Aunt Becky” and “Pay my tuition.” (Reports that she responded by giving a thumbs-up and saying, “You got it, dude” are unconfirmed at this time.)
Loughlin is accused of paying $500,000 to college admissions scam mastermind Rick Singer to get her daughters into the University of Southern California by falsely claiming that they were crew athletes, despite the fact that neither of them had ever rowed crew. She faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud and a maximum of five years in prison. She is one of 50 people charged in connection with the scandal.
On social media, the response to Loughlin’s behavior was fairly split: While some viewed her sunny demeanor as inappropriate given the circumstances, others praised her “iconic” courthouse look (or “lewk” as some fashionistas might prefer) and unflappably cheery persona. The positive comments echoed those in support of Anna Delvey, the so-called “Soho Grifter” who also made headlines when she appeared in court last week wearing a low-cut Miu Miu dress and Celine glasses.
In reality, Loughlin likely has very little to smile about: On Wednesday, TMZ reported that a federal law enforcement official said that prosecutors will likely recommend that Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, another prominent actress embroiled in the scandal, will serve some prison time as part of a potential plea bargain, partially as a way to make an example of them. “You can’t have people being treated differently because they have money,” the official told TMZ. “That’s how we got to this place. Every defendant will be treated the same.”
So enjoy the limelight while you can, Aunt Becky. Because there’s a strong possibility that the next autograph you sign could be on the bottom of a women’s state penitentiary entry form.