Lori Loughlin is under fire after she pleaded not guilty in the massive college admissions scandal case on Monday. But the Full House actress, who, along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli, was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud, believes it was her only option.
“Lori doesn’t understand why she’s getting so much criticism for pleading not guilty,” a source close to Loughlin told CNN, adding that “people must not realize that she had no choice.”
The source went on to explain Loughlin’s reasoning behind her plea. “The plea deal has been taken off the table, and this is the only way they’ve been told she and Mossimo can avoid jail time and get another plea [deal]. They are hoping justice will prevail.”
Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded not guilty to paying William “Rick” Singer $500,000 to bribe their two daughters’ way into the University of Southern California. The couple allegedly had Isabella, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19, pose as crew recruits even though neither had ever rowed before.
However, another source told Entertainment Tonight that “[Loughlin and her husband] were under the impression they might be breaking rules, but not laws” and that “they realize how serious the charges are, but feel that once the judge hears their story he will see they had no bad intentions.”
If convicted, Loughlin could face up to 40 years behind bars, a reality that the source told ET “brought her to her knees.” Despite the prospect of jail time, though, “her husband feels they are not guilty and should plead not guilty… [she] believes there is a chance she will go free.”