Steve Madden has come out in defense of actress Lori Loughlin, who faces new charges in the college admissions bribery scandal that has implicated dozens of well-heeled individuals.
In an interview with TMZ, the shoe designer spoke out in support of the “Full House” veteran and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, calling the situation “misguided” and “foolish.”
“I feel bad for everybody,” Madden said. “She tried to help her kid out. It was misguided.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts said Tuesday that 16 parents — including Loughlin and Giannulli — were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as another count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. (The latter charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to federal officials.)
William Singer, the college admissions counselor at the center of the scandal, has already pleaded guilty to racketeering and other crimes, with 33 parents accused of funneling bribes to college administrators and coaches to get their children admitted to certain colleges. On Monday, federal prosecutors said that a dozen of the parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, will plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Loughlin and Giannulli — who allegedly paid Singer $500,000 to have their two daughters admitted as recruits to the University of Southern California — have not publicly indicated how they intend to plead. (One of their daughters, YouTube influencer Olivia Jade, has dropped out of USC and lost a couple of brand endorsements following the scandal.)
“I’m gonna send money to her commissary account,” joked Madden, who was sentenced to 41 months in prison for stock fraud in the early 2000s.
However, he reiterated his stance: “I don’t think anybody should go to prison for something like that. It sounds like a terrible story. My advice is to throw yourself [at] the mercy of the court. I hope they don’t do time — don’t wish that on them … It was foolish, but what are you gonna do?”
Madden has previously chimed in on a number of high-profile controversies, including the infamous feud between rappers Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. Last fall, the designer took to social media to call for a ceasefire after his namesake brand responded to Minaj’s claim that she passed up a deal with the footwear company, which then approached rival rapper Cardi B in 2017.
“[Nicki Minaj] is an incredibly talented artist but we couldn’t work together cuz the timing wasn’t right,” Madden shared on Twitter. “[Cardi B] came on the scene and I had a fantastic collaboration with her, and she is also an amazing talent. I love… both [Nicki Minaj] and [Cardi B] music. I hope they can reach some peace — together they could probably take over the world.”
FN has reached out to Madden for comment.
Watch FN’s interview with top shoe players on advice they would give their younger selves.
Lori Loughlin’s Influencer Daughter Struck Deals With Amazon & Sephora Before College Bribery Scandal
Steve Madden Stock Surges on Stellar Q4 Performance — Investors Upbeat Despite Payless Bankruptcy