Full House‘s Lori Loughlin continues her fall from grace apace–if anonymous sources close to her and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli are to be believed. Take, for example, this bit culled from a Wednesday exclusive in E! News:
For awhile, as [Loughlin] rattled around [her] 12,000-square-foot spread [she and Giannulli] first snapped up for nearly $14 million in 2015, Lori was able to keep the worst of the “what ifs” at bay. Firm in her beliefs that surely she wouldn’t see the inside of a prison cell, a source tells E! News, she neglected to join the 13 parents (including fellow actress Felicity Huffman) and one university athletic coach who agreed to plead guilty to the charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
“She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by,” the Loughlin-adjacent anonymous source told the outlet. “She refused to accept any jail time and thought the DA was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn’t do any jail time.”
The report goes on to claim that the actress’ initial denial has since begun to ebb and the prospect of spending time in prison is starting to settle in.
“Lori is finally realizing just how serious this is,” according to E!’s source. “She is seeing the light that she will do jail time and is freaking out.”
Now, the source claims, Loughlin regrets not taking the above-referenced plea deal.
So, is it all too late for the woman long-beloved by Millennials as “Aunt Becky”?
Not necessarily, but it’s certainly not looking too great.
Law&Crime reached out to legal experts for their take on Loughlin’s apparent downward spiral of confidence in lieu of the superseding indictment filed against her on Tuesday.
Julie Rendelman is a former prosecutor and currently a defense attorney working in New York City. She also serves as a host on the Law&Crime Network. In an email, she noted that apparent tardiness in accepting blame is not thought to become federal criminal defendants in the eyes of the American justice system.
“Perhaps there is a plausible defense for Loughlin,” Rendelmen mused. “After all, she is presumed innocent and has a right to make the government prove their case against her at trial. With that said, the facts that have come out thus far, if true, do not appear favorable to her and in federal court, sometimes a delay in taking responsibility can be viewed unfavorably by the presiding judge.”
Robert Bianchi is a former prosecutor and a current legal analyst and host on the Law&Crime Network as well. In a sharply-worded email, Bianchi echoed the idea that Loughlin has a lot to lose the longer she waits–and previewed some decided pitfalls ahead.
“I anticipate she will learn a thing or two about how pride and arrogance come before the fall,” Bianchi warned. “Ms. Loughlin is in serious trouble and playing with fire. I am certain the defense lawyers explained the seriousness of this case, the evidence against her (taped calls), and the physics of federal prosecutions. What I mean by that is that low level offenses are initially charged in an attempt to work the case out.”
Bianchi then noted the extent of the deal that Loughlin may have missed out on.
“With Huffman the plea guarantees her months, not years in jail,” he explained. “Huffman will also receive ‘acceptance of responsibility’ credits. This also gives the attorneys a shot at asking for no jail time. Either way, Huffman significantly lowered her exposure. Loughlin, however, has increased it. Loughlin now faces more serious charges. On top of that, Laughlin’s case is factually a more serious matter as she paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for two daughters.”
The first plea deal now gone, Bianchi said recent events are likely to make things even worse:
U.S. Attorneys are under orders from the Department of Justice (known as the “Sessions Memo”) to only accept pleas to the most serious and readily provable offense charged. The matrix is simple here. Loughlin is now hit with more serious charges necessitating a higher plea than if she worked the case out earlier. Expect prosecutors and the judge to be unimpressed with her remorseless, arrogant failure to recognize that she stole from those that deserved what she took—especially a person who already had so much in the first place.
“Prosecutors and judges tend to not like that,” Bianchi concluded. “Simply put, what Loughlin is doing is good old fashioned self destruction.”
[image via Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images]