Actress Lori Loughlin is reportedly staying out of the spotlight ahead of a Tuesday court appearance.
She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were among many wealthy parents who were charged for their alleged involvement in a multi-level college bribery scheme. But while actress Felicity Huffman has accepted a plea deal, Loughlin and Giannulli have not, and have instead pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering and conspiring to commit fraud.
As the couple, who live in Bel-Air, await trial, their friends have reportedly distanced themselves, Page Six reports, citing anonymous insiders.
“A lot of these people are socially prominent, give to charities, have done the right things wealthy people are supposed to do in this town. They’re scared they might get ostracized by association,” the source said.
“They’re calling less, inviting less. Hanging back — for now. If [Giannulli and Loughlin] are not convicted, everything will go back to the way it was,” they continued. “But if they are, well, they might want to move. It’s sort of Bel Air ‘Bonfire of the Vanities.’”
Loughlin, who was fired from multiple TV shows after news of the charges spread, has largely kept to herself in the months since, aside from routinely attending service at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, according to Page Six.
“They feel a lot of support there,” said the anonymous source.
Prosecutors have accused Loughlin and Giannulli of paying $500,000 to William “Rick” Singer, the alleged mastermind behind the scheme, in order for their daughters to be admitted to the University of Southern California. Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella Rose, 20, were admitted as recruits of the rowing team, even though neither was a student athlete. But while prosecutors say that the thousands of dollars the couple gave to Singer as charitable donations were payments, Loughlin and Giannulli have claimed that they were ignorant of what Singer was really doing.
“They thought Rick Singer was legit, that they were helping people by giving him a charitable contribution,” an anonymous family friend told Page Six. “He was lying, not them.”
Loughlin and Giannulli are reportedly planning to present a “united front” at Tuesday’s court appearance, where they are expected to waive their right to separate attorneys, according to court documents obtained by The Mercury News. They could face up to 40 years behind bars if convicted on all counts.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.