Mossimo Giannulli once reprimanded a high school counselor who expressed doubt that his daughter was a member of a rowing team, prosecutors have alleged.
Federal prosecutors laid out their claims in court documents filed last week and obtained by the Los Angeles Times. Giannulli and his wife, actress Lori Loughlin, have been accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to secure their daughters’ admissions into the University of Southern California as promising crew team recruits — credentials that prosecutors have claimed were fraudulent. Someone who also doubted that the couples' daughters were student athletes was a guidance counselor at Los Angeles’ Marymount High School, and prosecutors say that Giannulli actually accosted the man once he heard about his doubts.
The counselor, identified by the Los Angeles Times as Philip Petrone, told a USC representative in 2018 that, despite what her application suggested, he doubted that Gianulli’s daughter was a competitive rower due to the amount of time that went into her vlogging career. Giannulli is alleged to have confronted Petrone at school the following month, accusing him of “trying to ruin or get in the way of their opportunities,” Petrone wrote in a memo which was filed in court last week. When Petrone tried to explain that he was not aware of Giannulli’s daughter participating in competitive rowing, Giannulli interrupted him and said that she was a coxswain, Petrone said.
Giannulli later let loose with “an agitated stream of consciousness,” and asked if “had any idea who [his daughter] was and what she had going for her,” the memo states, according to The Times. Petrone, who’d written a letter of recommendation for Giannulli’s daughter, responded by telling Giannulli that he was “well-aware” of his daughter’s YouTube channel centering around makeup and fashion, and reminded him that, in the letter, he described her as a “guru.”
Giannulli did not seem satisfied with that explanation, Petrone wrote, according to Page Six.
“Mr. Giannulli went on to say [I] still did not ‘get it,’ I was his daughters’ counselor, I was supposed to help them. He then stated he ‘knows lots of people,’” Petrone reportedly wrote, adding, “His tone made me visibly nervous.”
Nevertheless, Petrone contacted USC and relayed what Giannulli had told him — that his daughter was a coxswain, according to the Times.
A coxswain is a position of leadership on a rowing team, someone who sits on the stern of a boat and steers, according to the NCAA. In photos recently released by prosecutors, Giannuli and Loughlin’s daughters are seen using rowing machines, the New York Post reports. Olivia Jade, 20, and Isabella Rose, 21, have their faces blurred out in the photos, but Giannulli is alleged to have arranged for the photo shoot to aid William “Rick” Singer, the confessed mastermind behind the far-reaching scheme, in creating athletic portfolios for his daughters.
Giannulli and Loughlin face numerous charges, including bribery, but they have maintained their innocence, having claimed that they genuinely believed that the hundreds of thousands of dollars they gave to Singer constituted a genuine donation. Their trial is scheduled to begin in October.
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