By now, all “Hearties” know Lori Loughlin’s beloved character Abigail Stanton is a thing of the past. The hit Hallmark series took a two-month break after the 55-year-old actress and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted in March 2019 in the college admissions scandal. Among those also caught up in the scandal, includes Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavas and Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman, who ended up serving 14 days in prison. The fate of Loughlin and her husband is yet to be determined.
Loughlin played the part of Hope Valley’s Mayor Abigail Stanton. To explain her absence, the show’s creators came up with an idea for her departure. Stanton had moved back East with her adopted son, Cody, to take care of her sick mother.
Executive producer Brian Bird has admitted that everyone was shocked by the FBI’s allegations and Loughlin’s former co-stars tend to avoid discussing her legal troubles. Actor Paul Green, who plays Carson Shepherd on the series said when asked about Loughlin’s indictment, “The entire cast was surprised by these developments, so we hope you can forgive us for initially staying silent while we sort through how to respond.”
Erin Krakow, who plays main protagonist and schoolteacher Elizabeth Thatcher Thornton, has shot several scenes with Loughlin. This past July, she wished her friend a happy birthday, calling her “my forever friend with a heart of gold.”
Krako shared with Entertainment Tonight how much she missed seeing her friend around the set. “She’s my best, best friend, so that was hard not having her there, obviously. We were happy to see that the fans continued to support the show and rally around us and we’ve really felt that love.”
Meanwhile, the couple is preparing for trial after pleading not guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, honest services mail fraud and money laundering. There are also reports of them having listed their 12,000-square foot Los Angeles home for $28.7 million. Loughlin and Giannulli first purchased the estate in 2015 for $13.9 million.
Allegedly, their decision to sell the six bedroom/nine bath abode has nothing to do with the admissions scandal. Giannulli, it seems, has a passion for architecture and renovating houses.
Not one to let grass grow under their feet, the folks at Hallmark introduced a sister show, When Hope Calls over the summer. The series takes place in the early 1900s with the story revolving around two sisters, Lillian (Morgan Kohan) and Grace (Jocelyn Hudson).
The siblings try to open an orphanage in the old west in a town named Brookfield, but are met with challenges due to the town’s modernization. As always, there will be plenty of romance or at least opportunities for it in the new series.