The backlash from the college admissions cheating scandal doesn't seem to be nearing an end anytime soon! After federal charges were announced against dozens of people on Monday, including two well-known actresses, it seems everyday has revealed yet another layer to this crazy story. It's like a big onion, except the onion is full of crimes and once you get to the middle you go to federal prison.
Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been the news the most, mostly because people love a good Hollywood scandal. Lori Loughlin in particular has had a remarkably bad week. Her daughters Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade Giannulli, for whom Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 to get into the University of Southern California (USC), have dropped out of college.
Olivia Jade, a moderately successful influencer and Instagram celeb herself, has lost several lucrative endorsement and sponsorship deals. And Loughlin was fired from both the Hallmark Channel and Netflix. Now, a lawsuit has been filed against both Loughlin and Huffman, as well as other wealthy parents connected to the scandal.
Jennifer Kay Toy, a former teacher in Oakland, is suing Huffman and Loughlin for $500 billion. Yes, BILLION. Toy alleges that because of the illegal actions of Huffman, Loughlin, and others, legitimate applicants were denied admission to the colleges named in the criminal charges. In the lawsuit, she says her son Joshua was not admitted to several colleges that are involved, despite having a high grade point average. She does not specify which colleges, exactly, her son applied to but was not admitted.
In the lawsuit, Toy writes, "I'm outraged and hurt because I feel that my son, my only child, was denied access to a college not because he failed to work and study hard enough but because wealthy individuals felt that it was OK to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children’s way into a good college". She is alleging fraud and emotional distress.
Toy contends that more than 1,000 people were involved in the scandal, far more than the few dozen so far named and charged by the Department of Justice. She also estimates that more than 1,000,000 people have been affected by the bribery scheme. We certainly don't doubt that many, many people have been affected. And in theory, the spots taken by the kids of the accused could have gone to other, more deserving students.
But college admissions are incredibly competitive, and each year there are several hundred thousand students vying for tens of thousands of spots at some of these prestigious top tier schools. So we're not exactly sure how it can be proven that one of the cheating kids got in over her son specifically. But Toy has filed suit on behalf of "all persons in the United States."
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, and what bombshell associated with the scandal will drop next.