Dina's Dirt at 6:40 - 3/13/19

Dina's daily scoop of dirt, the latest in celebrity gossip!

March 13, 2019

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Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are on a list of nearly 50 people charged in what’s being called the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Being called “Operation Varsity Blues,” federal officials say elite and wealthy parents paid bribes of up to $6 million to get their kids into elite colleges. In all, officials say ringleader William Singer collected $25 million to get the privileged into schools including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling says there can be no separate college admission for the wealthy and there will be "no separate criminal justice system either." William has already pled guilty and admitted to the charges of racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. The con involved cheating on ACT and SAT exams or creating fake sports profiles to get the students into college on a sports team. Others charged include CEOs, two SAT or ACT exam administrators, and nine coaches at the targeted schools.

In more details regarding OVB, Felicity Huffman was arrested (at gunpoint) but posted the $250,000 bail. She'll have to appear in Boston court March 29. Lori's husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was arrested and released on $1 million bond, with a court appearance scheduled for the 29th as well. Lori is expected to turn herself in today when she returns to the country. As for what they're accused of, Felicity allegedly paid $15,00, disguised as a charitable donation (funneled through William Singer’s IRS-approved charity, the Key Worldwide Foundation), so her daughter, Sofia, could take her SATs in a controlled environment. Why? The hired proctor changed her wrong answers and reportedly boosted her score by 400 points. As for Lori and her husband, they , allegedly paid $500,000 so that their daughters , Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, could get into USC. They even paid to have them designated as recruits on the crew team, even though neither of them rows.

Jussie Smollett made his first public appearance since he was indicted on 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct. He was in court yesterday with his attorney, Mark Geragos, for a hearing he didn’t have to attend but chose to. Jussie also wanted to have cameras allowed in the courtroom. The “Empire” star showed up rocking a suit with shades, gloves, and a trench coat as he strolled confidently into the Cook County Courthouse. Sources say that he intends to be an active participant in his defense – not just an observer. He’s actually done hiding out. It sounds like he'll take the attention wherever he can get it, good or bad. 

The Twitterverse has apologized to Will Smith over his portrayal as Genie in “Aladdin.” At first, fans laid into him when Will’s first teaser dropped. But now that the trailer has dropped, fans have changed their minds. As one wrote, “I'll be honest, after the teaser with Genie, I thought this new trailer would be worse. My opinion of this movie has changed COMPLETELY. Just goes to show, you cannot judge a book by its cover. If you watch this new trailer, you may look forward to this. I wanna watch this now.” “Aladdin” hits theaters on May 24th. 

Ed Sheeran neighbors are claiming that a "pond" he built near his Suffolk mansion is being used as a swimming pool. So what's the big deal? Partying. According to sources, Ed was looking for  permission from the local city council to build the pond, promising it would be used as a wildlife pond to "support nature conservation," "water plants," and an "array of wildlife." The council had no problem granting his request as long as the pond was not used for swimming. However, neighbors are convinced that Ed is planning on using it as a swimming pool over the summer. A jetty and a set of steps were recently added to the pond, but Ed says they were needed to help clean the pond. Neighbors are not buying it, and in fact, a few of them have already complained about the loud music coming from his property on a regular basis. You know those ducks like to get down.