Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are planning to present a united front moving forward in their legal battle, according to court documents. The plan is for the couple to continue to be represented by attorneys in the same law firm. They are expected to waive their rights to separate attorneys during their next court appearance scheduled for August 27.
In the court documents, their lawyers rejected the argument that joint representation puts them at risk for potential conflicts of interest. They both maintain their innocence in the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. The couple faces up to 40 years for allegedly paying bribes for their daughter Olivia Jade’s admission into USC.
“Giannulli and Loughlin are innocent of the charges brought against them and are eager to clear their names,” the documents state. “And they believe their interests will be advanced most effectively by presenting a united front against the Government’s baseless accusations.”
The decision to move forward with a united front has to be a relief for the family, especially Olivia Jade and her sister Isabella. In April, reports surfaced that the two were turning on each other. Mossimo is mortified that they are caught up in this pay-for-play kind of a mess while Lori continues to walk around with a smile on her face as though everything is fine. In the midst of the family drama, Olivia moved out of the family’s home.
As we all remember, back in March, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts charged 50 people, including Felicity Huffman besides Loughlin and Giannulli, with a college admissions cheating scandal. The dragnet didn’t just trap parents but also school counselors, and coaches who are accused of falsifying SAT scores and lying about the athletic skills of their children. Some parents claim they were just making donations to the schools involved while others paid college admissions counselors, most notably Rick Singer.
Huffman was arrested and charged for paying $15,000 to facilitate cheating on daughter Sofia’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers. She pleaded guilty to her role in the college admissions scandal on May 13.
Prosecutors alleged that Loughlin and her husband paid $500,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes, to have their daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.” (Neither Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella Rose, 20, are listed on the USC women’s rowing roster.)
Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted on an additional charge of fraud and money laundering in April. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
Lori Loughlin was a leading lady in roles on Hallmark Channel and Netflix shows. She lost those jobs when the news of the scandal broke. Tuesday Lifetime network announced production is underway on a movie about the scandal. The working title of the fictionalized story is College Admissions Scandal, which lacks imagination so I hope that will change.
The movie will follow two wealthy mothers who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college. When charismatic college admissions consultant Rick Singer offers a side door into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, they willingly partake with visions of coveted acceptance letters in their heads.
But when Singer cooperates with the FBI and pleads guilty, the mothers must face the consequences of their actions and the loss of trust and respect from their families.
I don’t think either of the well-known actresses involved in this scandal thought they would star in this movie, fictionalized or not. Clearly, they have provided the basis for it. They have the spotlight whether it is wanted or not.
“It’s just a strange situation when you are used to working, and all you do instead is focus on court dates and your legal defense. It’s not the happiest situation,” the source said, adding that the couple has been spending more time in Newport Beach, California, where Giannulli grew up, in order to avoid being in the spotlight.
Someone is going to have to be made an example for the college admissions scandal and given the fact that Loughlin and Giannulli refused to take a plea deal or admit guilt, it looks like it may be the two of them who will pay the steepest price.