For several weeks now, Lori Loughlin has been at the center of one of the most high-profile celebrity controversies in recent memory.
The college admissions bribery scandal has attracted attention from all corners of the media, and even those who usually keep their distance from the world of celebrity news are following closely for their daily dose of schadenfreude.
Loughlin has become the face of the "Varsity Blues" investigation (yes, that's really what the FBI is calling it) for a number of reasons.
While fellow actress Felicity Huffmarguablyguable more famous and certainly more highly-regarded by her peers, Loughlin's (alleged) crimes were far more egregious, as the former Full House star is accused of shelling out half a million in bribes, compared to Huffman's $15,000.
Furthermore, while Huffman has agreed to play ball with prosecutors, Loughlin rejected a plea deal and is reportedly confident that she can beat the charges against her.
The prosecution responded by leveling even more charges against Loughlin, who is now facing decades behind bars if she's convicted.
For obvious reasons, all of this has made Loughlin a toxic presence in Hollywood, and at the outset, many expected she would never work again.
So you can imagine our suprise when Radar Online reported that Loughlin will be returning to Fuller House for the show's final season.
“Publicly, the producers have said nothing about Lori and her situation over the bribery scandal,” a source tells the site.
“They didn’t say she would never return to the show.”
And why would producers take a risk on such a scandalous -- and widely despised -- figure?
Well according to the insider, it's all because Loughlin is so well-liked by her co-stars.
“Lori is beloved by the entire cast and crew of Fuller House, as well as the producers and the executives at Netflix,” says the informant.
“John Stamos and other cast members have gone to bat for Lori, and really like this idea."
And apparently, producers feel they have little to lose as Fuller House enters its final season.
Still, they're conscious of the bad press that might accompany Loughlin's return to set, and they're taking the appropriate precautions.
The insider says Lori “would secretly film her scenes with other cast members but not in front of a studio audience."
The source adds:
“Filming would not happen until later this summer, and producers hope all the controversy surrounding Loughlin will have died down by the time the episodes air later this year and they will have a ratings bonanza with Aunt Becky back on the show,”
Yeah, we wouldn't put too many eggs in she "scandal dying down" or "ratings bonanza" baskets.
Hell, by that point, Loughlin may have gone from Full House to the big house.