Lori Loughlin Recalls Feeling 'Down and Broken' in First TV Appearance Since College Admissions Scandal

In her first non-acting TV appearance since the college admissions scandal, Lori Loughlin opened up about how giving back to communities in need has changed her life

Lori Loughlin is opening up about persevering amid the toughest of moments.

In her first non-acting TV appearance since the college admissions scandal, Loughlin, 57, spoke about her volunteer efforts with Project Angel Food during their Lead with Love 3 broadcast on Saturday. As Loughlin and other volunteers shared testimonials about their experience, the Full House alum revealed how volunteering with the organization helped her during a tough time.

"It is a community, it is a family, and all the people that work here are so wonderful," she explained in the segment, broadcasted on Los Angeles' KTLA 5.

"They have welcomed me with such open arms at a time when I was feeling particularly down and broken," she continued. "That's how I found a home here, and that's what I feel like they did for me, and that's why I'm so proud to be here and working with this organization, because they really do care. It's really a community."

Lori Loughlin

Loughlin said it is "more than just feeding people."

"It's about loving people and helping people," she added. "And I think that is so important, and I am so proud to be a part of Project Angel Food."

Also connecting it to her own experience, Loughlin said that Project Angel Food has the power to uplift. "I think that's what Project Angel Food is," the actress said.

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"Working with people, who have hit a low in their life, facing extreme illness, or have lost their job during the pandemic," she concluded. "Project Angel Food, is there for them."

Loughlin was arrested for her part in the college admissions scandal in 2019. Along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli, she paid a $500,000 bribe to ensure the couple's daughters Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade were admitted into the University of Southern California. Their acceptance was contingent on them joining the crew team, though neither had ever played the sport.

Olivia Jade, Lori Loughlin and Bella Giannulli
From left: Olivia Jade, Lori Loughlin and Bella Giannulli. AFF-USA/Shutterstock

Loughlin and Giannulli, 59, pleaded guilty in 2020 to conspiracy to commit fraud. She spent two months in jail later that year and was ordered to complete 150 community service hours upon her release. Her fashion designer husband served a five-month prison sentence, which he completed in April 2021.

"They are both beyond relieved to have completed their prison sentences. Mossimo has to finish his community service, but then he can really move on," a source told PEOPLE last year. "Lori is a wonderful wife, mother and friend. She and Mossimo made huge mistakes. They have taken responsibility for them and just want to start fresh now."

Loughlin has slowly been easing her way back into normalcy. Last September, she booked her first acting role post-scandal, revisiting her former When Calls the Heart role in its When Hope Calls spinoff.

This casting marked a major career turn for Loughlin after she was previously written off the series.

Loughlin later attended a special Valentine's Day dinner hosted by Kris Jenner. And in June, Loughlin made her return to the red carpet at the DesignCare 2022 Gala benefitting the HollyRod Foundation.

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