In August, Lori Loughlin proclaimed in court that she was willing to overlook the advantages of pursuing her own defense strategy in the college admissions scandal.
Instead, she agreed to bind her interests to those of her husband Mossimo Giannulli, with the couple saying they wanted to present “a united front” as they fought charges in the college admissions scandal.
But that “united front” may mean the 55-year-old actress turned down another chance to finally take a plea deal after she and her fashion designer husband were hit with new bribery charges two weeks ago, a source told Us Weekly. The new bribery charges mean she will serve even more time in prison if convicted — up to 50 years.
Actress Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli exit the Boston federal court house after a hearing in August. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images) Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images
“Lori turned the corner and backed out of considering a guilty plea due to her husband’s insistence,” the source told Us Weekly. “She had been talking to her lawyers about it, but her friends and family were encouraging her to pursue a plea deal. She’s only listening to Mossimo though.”
On Friday, Loughlin and Giannulli’s attorneys were back in federal court in Boston, entering new not-guilty pleas on their behalf. The couple already had been charged with fraud and money laundering and faced up to 40 years in prison. They are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to college admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his alleged accomplices to have their daughters Olivia Jade, 20, and Isabella, 21, falsely designated as crew team athletes to help them gain admission to the University of Southern California.
On Oct. 22, prosecutors brought the new bribery charges. The new charges came as a “surprise” and left Loughlin, her husband and their “entire family in chaos,” People magazine reported.
“They knew this was a possibility, but they thought perhaps it was just a bargaining tool from the prosecution,” a source told People. “Now that the charges are official, they are realizing that there is no way to avoid a moderately long prison sentence, unless they are found not guilty in a trial.”
Loughlin continues to insist on her innocence and to want people to believe that she was duped by “unscrupulous people,” a source told People.
“Does she regret not taking the deal? Of course she does, because it would have been easier,” the source added to People.
Now Loughlin is left feeling “absolutely terrified and extremely vulnerable,” another insider told Us Weekly.
Another source added to Us Weekly that Loughlin was “inclined” to take a plea deal, but Giannulli insisted, “It would ruin both of their careers.”
But it’s possible that Loughlin and Giannulli’s careers already have been ruined. In Loughlin’s case, Netflix, which produced the “Full House” reboot, “Fuller House,” and the Hallmark Channel cut ties with her last spring, shortly after she, her husband and more than 30 other wealthy parents were charged in the college admissions bribery case.
Lori Loughlin, William Singer and Felicity Huffman. (Getty Images) …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment