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Lori Loughlin Didn’t Think She Was Doing Anything Illegal in Cheating Scandal

Marissa G. Muller
Lori Loughlin is reportedly only starting to understand the impact of the college cheating scandal now because she initially thought her actions were legal.

Over the past month, Lori Loughlin has become the poster woman for the injustices of the academic system, specifically in regard to college admissions. When the cheating scandal she was involved in was exposed, it sparked anger and conversations about how flawed colleges and the admissions process are for the majority of the country. Meanwhile, the Full House actress is only just starting to understand that she played a role in that, according to a source close to her.

Apparently, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, initially thought that their actions were fully legal. “You read the complaint, and they look like criminal masterminds,” the source told People. “But they really didn’t know the legalities of what was going on. They’re not lawyers and they’re not experts. They were parents who simply wanted to make sure that their daughters got into a good school.”

According to the source, Loughlin and Giannulli were as shocked as everyone else when they were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud—and, later, money laundering—after allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, into USC. “Calling in favors, donating money to the alumni association, hiring consultants. Those are all things that parents do,” the source said. “And so they gave money to this consultant, not entirely knowing everything that was going to be done. When it all fell apart, nobody was as surprised as they were that they were in trouble.… She never intended to break any laws, and if she did, it was inadvertent.”

Now, though, Loughlin is reportedly coming out of denial and beginning to understand the gravity of her alleged actions. “Lori is shocked and saddened that this is what her legacy is going to be,” the source said, adding that she and her husband are “very focused on getting the legal case worked out. They can deal with careers and finances later. Right now, they need to deal with mounting their defense, while still negotiating for any sort of deal.… Everything else is secondary. Lori, in particular, is very focused. She is being very no-nonsense about this now.”

Her daughter Olivia Jade is reportedly doing the same as she prepares for a potential investigation into her alleged knowledge of her parents’ actions. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is awaiting the verdict of this case with the same gravity that Loughlin, now, finally has.