The Latest: Hallmark channel cuts ties to Lori Loughlin

SAN FRANCISCO — The Latest on a college admissions bribery scandal that has led to charges against coaches and celebrities (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

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Hallmark says it is cutting ties with actress Lori Loughlin following her arrest in a sprawling college admissions scam case.

In a statement Thursday, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel says it was "saddened" by the recent allegations.

Hallmark Cards Inc. says it will no longer working with Loughlin and has stopped development of all productions involving her.

Loughlin is a big presence for Hallmark and its Crown Media Family Networks channels that include the flagship Hallmark Channel.

She's been a longtime star of the channel's Christmas movies and is also is in its "Garage Sale Mysteries" movies and the series "When Calls the Heart."

Loughlin's lawyer Perry Visconti did not immediately reply to an email requesting comment.

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11:45 a.m.

Legal experts say a lawsuit against universities in a college admissions scandal is unlikely to succeed in part because the plaintiffs who were named are currently students at Stanford University.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco says the two students were harmed because they were denied a fair opportunity for admission to schools to which they applied.

But legal experts say that's a hard argument to make since the two students, Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, got into the elite Stanford University. The experts say they still expect additional lawsuits to be filed.

More than 50 people were charged earlier this week in the scandal.

Prosecutors have said wealthy parents paid to rig standardized scores and bribed sports coaches to get their children into elite universities

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11:30 a.m.

The Hallmark Channel is known for holidays and shows with happy endings.

But the arrest of actress Lori Loughlin in a college admissions bribery scheme has created a challenge for the family-friendly cable channel. Loughlin's career and the channel are deeply intertwined.

She's among the so-called "Christmas queens" who topline a slate of popular holiday movies. Loughlin also stars in Hallmark's ongoing "Garage Sale Mysteries" movies and the series "When Calls the Heart."

Market strategist Laura Ries says it's an open question of whether audiences can separate Loughlin from the characters she plays.

Hallmark says it's "monitoring developments."

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are among dozens of parents accused of securing their children's college admission with bribes and falsified exams. Their lawyer has declined comment.

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11:10 a.m.

The University of Texas at Austin is defending itself against a lawsuit alleging it played a role in a wide-ranging college bribery scheme.

University officials issued a statement Wednesday saying they're "outraged" over the scheme and that any alleged wrongdoing at the school was carried out by "one UT employee."

The school was one of several named in a federal lawsuit filed in San Francisco saying students were denied a fair opportunity for admission. Others targeted in the suit include the University of Southern California and Yale University.

Federal prosecutors charged more than 50 people earlier this week in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed sports coaches and other officials to get their children into elite colleges.

University of Texas officials say the allegations "do not reflect our admissions process."

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8:35 a.m.

Two college students have filed a lawsuit against the University of Southern California, Yale University and other colleges where prosecutors say parents paid bribes to ensure their children's admission.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco and alleges the students were denied a fair opportunity for admission.

Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods say they were denied a fair opportunity to apply to Yale and USC.

They say the alleged scheme gave "unqualified students" admission to "highly selective universities."

The lawsuit also named the University of California, Los Angeles, Wake Forest, Georgetown University and others.

More than 50 people were charged earlier this week.

Prosecutors have said wealthy parents paid to rig standardized scores and bribed sports coaches to get their children into elite universities.

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