Lori Loughlin pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy in the college admissions scandal

By Aurelie Corinthios
April 16, 2019 09:47 AM

Lori Loughlin‘s When Calls the Heart costar Paul Greene has broken his silence in the wake of her alleged involvement in the college admissions cheating scandal.

In an interview on Popcorn Talk Network’s I Could Never Be series, Greene, 44, opened up about how the scandal has affected the cast and crew of the Hallmark Channel show, which severed ties with the actress after the news broke.

“They’re doing some reshoots in Canada, and I mean, everybody has really been very, very careful ’cause it’s a very sensitive time,” he said. “Everybody is trying to collect themselves and pull it all together, make a statement that doesn’t offend, but still supports, that’s loving.”

“But also everyone’s dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s on the corporate side,” he added. “Every angle you could look at this [from] has had to have been handled very carefully.”

Lori Loughlin and Paul Greene
Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that it had charged 50 people, including Felicity Huffman and Loughlin, in the cheating scandal. The two actresses, along with coaches, admissions counselors, parents and Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer J. Mossimo Giannulli, were accused of alleged crimes such as falsifying SAT scores and lying about the athletic skills of their children.

RELATED: Amid the College Admissions Scandal, Here Are 8 Organizations Helping Disadvantaged Students

Prosecutors alleged that Loughlin and her husband paid $500,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes, to have their daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.” (Neither Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella Rose, 20, are listed on the USC women’s rowing roster.)

Singer has since admitted his role as the ringleader of the scam and has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

Last week, Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted on an additional charge of fraud and money laundering.

They pleaded not guilty on Monday. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge. Their attorneys have not returned PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

RELATED: Lori Loughlin Doesn’t Think She Did ‘Anything That Any Mom Wouldn’t Have Done’: Source

Mossimo Giannulli and Lori Loughlin
Donato Sardella/Getty Images for LACMA

In the interview, Greene said he stands by Loughlin.

“We’ve all known Lori for a really long time,” he said. “And when someone’s your friend and something happens to them, you don’t stop being their friend. You support, no matter what happens.”

“I can only speak for myself,” he continued. “All I do know is that if you had a good friend and they were accused of something, you haven’t even heard their side yet, you’d be there for them no matter what.”

“Everyone’s human,” he added. “If I, Paul, all of a sudden there was some weird thing and it came out that I was being accused of something and you haven’t heard my side yet and I wasn’t supported by my friends, I’d be like, ‘Are you really my friend?'”

The show, which premiered in 2014, underwent a “retooling” hiatus after dropping Loughlin. It has since been renewed for a seventh season, and Greene said he thinks the scandal will actually “bind everyone together” in the long run.

“Adversity brings family together. It really does,” he said. “I’m talking about the whole thing — between the characters and the actors, between, the fans and the relationship and the love they have for the show.”

“I feel like everyone’s really pulling together now and doing the very best that they can with what they’ve been given,” he continued. “And still time will tell. Things are going to continue to unravel and I think we’ll look back on this as a moment that everybody was very generous — especially the Hearties, they’ve been generous and patiently waiting. It really does speak to the loyalty of our fans.”

When Calls the Heart returns May 5 and will air a second brand-new episode on May 6 at 8 p.m. ET, both on Hallmark Channel.

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