In partnership with

Lori Laughlin rejects plea deal in college admissions scam and could face serious jail time

2019-04-11 13:47
Lori Loughlin

Cape Town - Things have gone from bad to worse for actress Lori Loughlin (54) and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli (55).

The glamorous couple may have to say bye-bye to their privileged life in Los Angeles as they face the very real possibility of 20 years jail time each for their part in the college admissions scandal that’s rocked the US.

They’ve been hit with money laundering charges after being accused of paying $500 000 (R7m) to secure their daughters, Olivia (19) and Bella (20), into the University of Southern California (USC) as recruits for the institution’s rowing crew, despite neither girl doing the sport.

But rather than admit guilt and take a plea deal, which would’ve seen them serve two years in jail, the couple have turned it down. "They decided to roll the dice," a source told People, adding: “And it may have been a bad gamble. Now they’re in worse shape than before."

"They were offered the carrot and the stick. The carrot was that this can all go away and you can serve your time and put it behind you. The stick was that [the prosecution] would and could pile on more serious charges – which they’ve done."

According to another insider, Lori is "in denial'.

"She’ll go to trial before being separated from her family and take those odds rather than just go to prison as part of a deal."

Now, the couple are trying to figure out their next move.

In the meantime their fellow accused, actress Felicity Huffman, pleaded guilty on Monday for paying $15 000 (R21 000) to get her 18-year-old daughter Sofia’s test score doctored so she could get into the university, US Weekly reports.

According to a family friend of the couple, Lori, who starred in the sitcom Fuller House, was determined to send her kids to USC.

"It was absolutely a status thing for her," the pal says. "They needed to be at USC. It was very important for her to be able to say her girls were at USC. And the fact that she wanted the girls to have things she never had growing up."

Since the scandal broke, both girls haven’t returned to the university and Olivia has reportedly moved in with her boyfriend. She’s said to be "furious" with her parents for "ruining her life" and career as a social media influencer.

"She’s really angry with her parents because she told them she didn’t want to go to college and she was pushed," a source told Entertainment Tonight.

"She’s been passionate about her career and wanted to work and was doing well but that wasn't enough. Her parents said she would have to juggle college and her career. Now she’s devastated because everything she built imploded before her eyes."

Sources: People, US Weekly, Fox News

Read more on:    lori loughlin  |  celebrities

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.