Full House actress Lori Loughlin is in a really bad situation, but everything being written in celebrity entertainment publications of late would indicate that she doesn’t seem to understand how precarious this legal predicament is.
Just two days ago, anonymous sources said to be close to her and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli told E! News that she “neglected” a plea deal opportunity because she thought she could “skate by” — “Firm in her beliefs that surely she wouldn’t see the inside of a prison cell.”
“She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by,” the anonymous individual said. “She refused to accept any jail time and thought the DA was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn’t do any jail time.”
Nowhere was this attitude on fuller display than when a “chatty” and smiley Loughlin decided to sign autographs for fans ahead of her first court appearance.
As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, PEOPLE ran a story on Friday that contained remarks made in an almost identical vein as the ones in the E! News story.
Keep in mind, Lori Loughlin and her husband were indicted on a new set of federal crimes this week, including two charges related to money laundering. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors operating out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts filed a 54-page superseding indictment which charged 16 individuals with additional crimes over their alleged unlawful efforts to obtain select college placements for their kids with the help of The Key Worldwide Foundation’s William “Rick” Singer.
They allegedly created fake rowing profiles to get their daughters Isabella and Olivia into USC and “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the [University of Southern California (USC)] crew team–despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.”
The power couple is now charged with conspiracy to commit mail and/or wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, meaning they currently face a maximum of 40 years in prison. While there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that the maximum occurs, Loughlin appears to be doing everything she can to become less and less sympathetic.
In the PEOPLE story, Loughlin was, again, portrayed as an individual who “may not have grasped everything that was going on.” Strangely, Loughlin’s concerns about a guilty plea can supposedly be traced to her daughters.
“She is very concerned about what a guilty plea would do to her daughters, who may not have grasped everything that was going on,” a source close to her said. Apparently, Loughlin is more concerned about what her daughters think of her than locking in a plea deal that will, I don’t know, help her be with her daughters sooner rather than later?
“Yes, she can think about the public perception of her, but that’s nothing compared to what her daughters think of her. So that is something that has understandably made her less likely to enter a plea,” a source close to Loughlin said.
As Law&Crime reported before, it was pretty clear that federal prosecutors were going to attempt to secure their cooperation through plea agreements, as that’s how the whole investigation started.
The feds flipped Singer and went all around the country over the phone to record conversations with unwitting clients. What wasn’t clear at the time was how long the defendants would have to consider plea deals; all we knew is that it was a “short window.” For Loughlin, the window may not be entirely closed, but the additional money laundering charges are serious.
Other parents charged in the massive college cheating scandal have already seen the proverbial writing on the wall, even famous parents like fellow actress Felicity Huffman. Huffman wisely pleaded guilty early and apologized to her daughter — and the sons and daughters of Americans across the country.
“I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly,” she said. “My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
Lori Loughlin? She’s still trying to come to grips with the idea that what she is accused of doing is against the law.
“It’s just taking some time for it to sink in that what she was allegedly doing could be considered illegal,” the PEOPLE source said. “To her, it wasn’t egregious behavior. Was it entitled and perhaps selfish? Perhaps. But she didn’t see it as being a legal violation.”
Remarkably, Loughlin’s outlook on her alleged conduct was distilled to: This is just what rich moms do, right?
“From the beginning, she didn’t want to take a deal, because she felt that she hadn’t done anything that any mom wouldn’t have done, if they had the means to do so,” the anonymous source said. “So this wasn’t her being obstinate; this was her truly not understanding the seriousness of the allegations.”
Maybe Lori Loughlin needs to get her shit together, and quickly. If she doesn’t, it’s going to be an “empty house” for a while.
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[Image via Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images]
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