Sometimes real life is so shocking that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes part of a “ripped from the headlines” production. Case in point? The trailer for Lifetime’s College Admissions Scandal movie has arrived and, wow, does it look heavy. While Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman — the most publicized celebrities involved in the scam — obviously don’t make cameos, it’s no secret where the made-for-TV movie got its storylines.
Zipping back in time to March, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that 50 affluent parents were being charged in the massive college admissions scandal. In addition to celebrities like Loughlin and Huffman, the scam involved a complex network of coaches and admissions counselors. Rick Singer, a college admissions consultant, reportedly acted as the ringleader of the shocking scheme.
In Lifetime’s trailer, Penelope Ann Miller (Riverdale) and Mia Kirshner (Star Trek: Discovery) play the part of two wealthy mothers hellbent on getting their kids into prestigious colleges. Miller’s character, Caroline, has a son whom she fears is “losing his way.” So, vowing to “do anything” to help him find it, she ultimately pays to have his SAT scores doctored. Kirshner’s character, Bethany, goes to much more extravagant extremes, paying over half a million dollars to create the illusion that her daughter was accepted into a prestigious school on the merit of her soccer skills — despite the fact the teen doesn’t play soccer.
If we were going to connect the dots here, we’d assume that Miller’s Caroline was modeled more after Huffman. IRL, Huffman was arrested and charged with allegedly doling out $15,000 to have a proctor change her daughter’s SAT answers. She pled guilty in May. As fate would have it, Miller was Huffman’s co-star on the first season of American Crime.
Kirshner’s Bethany seems to parallel Loughlin who, along with husband Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly paid $500,000 to have their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, although, the girls did not participate in crew.
Unlike Huffman, Loughlin and Giannulli chose not to plead guilty, a decision they reportedly now regret. “Lori regrets not doing what Felicity did,” an insider told Us Weekly on Friday. “Lori was inclined to take the deal, but Mossimo said it would ruin both of their careers.” Another source added that Giannulli is convinced “they’ve done nothing wrong.”
Guess we’ll have to see how it turns out for the characters in Lifetime’s movie. The College Admissions Scandal premieres October 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.