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Martha Stewart 'feels sorry' for Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman college scandal troubles

The lifestyle guru, who dealt with her own public scandal and prison stint 15 years ago, said Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman may have "made a bad mistake."
/ Source: TODAY

Martha Stewart knows what it’s like for Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman to be facing criminal charges in the glare of the celebrity spotlight, given that she went through it herself 15 years ago.

Stewart, who served five months at a minimum-security federal prison in West Virginia in 2004-05 for lying to investigators about a stock sale, has given her take on Loughlin’s and Huffman’s entanglement in the widespread college admissions cheating scandal.

Martha Stewart and Lori Loughlin
Martha Stewart says she "feels sorry" for Lori Loughlin as she deals with the legal fallout from a college admissions scandal. AP, Reuters

“I just feel sorry for them,” Stewart told ET at Tuesday night's Time 100 Gala in New York City. “They might have made a bad mistake.”

Last week, Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with the scandal. Prosecutors say the two paid $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California.

Giannulli and Loughlin face a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

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Huffman agreed to plead guilty earlier this month. The former “Desperate Housewives” star admitted she paid at least $15,000 to arrange for a proctor to change answers on her eldest daughter’s SAT.

The maximum amount of time Huffman could spend in prison under her agreement is 10 months, per NBC News. It is likely she will serve only a few months in jail, if any time at all, based on the plea agreement filed in court.

Stewart, 77, has shown how to make a comeback after a fall from grace, as she rebuilt her lifestyle business after doing her time. She also now has a cooking show with unlikely co-host Snoop Dogg that just started its third season.

Further, the domestic lifestyle guru has demonstrated how to stylishly exit prison, as she was famously photographed smiling and waving while wearing a gray poncho crocheted for her by a fellow inmate.

Martha Stewart waves cheerfully as she boards a plane
Martha Stewart waves cheerfully in her "prison poncho" as she boards a plane after her release in 2005 from Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia. Getty Images

However, the prison experience is not one Stewart likes to remember.

“It was horrifying, and no one — no one — should have to go through that kind of indignity, really, except for murderers, and there are a few other categories,” she told Katie Couric on the former TODAY anchor’s podcast in 2017. “But no one should have to go through that. It’s a very, very awful thing.”