Full House actress Lori Loughlin is sensing some dissension, of sorts, among the ranks. Specifically from her daughters Bella Giannulli and Olivia Jade Giannulli.
Loughlin’s upcoming trial on various federal charges related to the ongoing college admissions scandal reportedly has her progeny feeling more than a bit glum about being forced to testify.
According to Us Weekly, the onetime University of Southern California (USC) students are increasingly concerned about the toll that their mother’s legal woes is taking on their own reputations.
An anonymous source cited by the entertainment magazine claims the Giannulli sisters are “really upset with her.” And, in turn, their agitated feelings have Loughlin herself feeling down and out.
The source noted:
She knows she has caused so much damage to her daughters’ lives and reputations and knows a trial would only make it worse.
“Olivia Jade is worried that she won’t be able to build a brand after what her parents have done,” another source told the outlet in September–and now Olivia Jade is said to be feeling “resentful.”
“That’s devastating for Lori,” the second source continued, “things aren’t fully healed between them.”
Earlier this month, Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli made a joint decision to retain their not guilty pleas–after being slapped with new federal charges in late October.
A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts explained that Loughlin, Giannulli and nine other parents-defendants in the Varsity Blues scandal were charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery over allegations they bribed USC officials in order “to facilitate their children’s admission.”
Loughlin was somewhat shook by the new slate of charges and considered taking a plea deal. Giannulli, however, reportedly convinced his wife to stick it out and try to beat the rap in court.
“Lori turned the corner and backed out of considering a guilty plea due to her husband’s insistence,” a third source told Us Weekly.
The star couple’s legal defense hinges upon the narrative that the entire Loughlin family was duped, diminished and victimized by William “Rick” Springer along with USC. The defendants will likely claim they believed that their huge checks to Springer were fully legitimate donations to the elite research university.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Law&Crime that such a defense will probably be a hard sell to jurors due to allegations that Loughlin and Giannulli created fake rowing profiles for their daughters in order to bulk up their admissions applications.
The original criminal complaint alleged that “Giannulli sent [Singer] an e-mail attaching a photograph of his older daughter on an ergometer,” or rowing machine in September 2016. The fake coxswain photo scheme was then allegedly resurrected in July 2017.
Rahmani also said that Bella and Olivia Jade would almost certainly be called to testify–if not eventually prosecuted themselves:
Evidence seems to show that Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughters were aware of the fraudulent conspiracy, participate in it willingly, and acted to advance the conspiracy. If the parents go to trial, they also leave their children open to criminal liability charges.
And now, the couple’s decision to try their fate with a jury of their peers has the family close to riven and second-guessing the wisdom of such an aggressive tack due to the daughters’ grievances.
A fourth anonymous source set the mood among Loughlin’s friends:
They say she should have followed [Felicity] Huffman’s lead and taken a plea deal and accepted responsibility.
Loughlin and Giannulli are scheduled to appear before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in late January. A judge has yet to be assigned to their case. They face a statutory maximum of 50 years in prison if convicted–but such a sentence is considered all but impossible under the circumstances.
[Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]