Lori Loughlin’s daughters are ‘devastated’ their mom and dad are going to jail after their family rift over the college bribes scandal helped them to become a ‘tight-knit’ unit again.
Lori Loughlin, 55, and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, 56, have taken a generous plea deal which will see them serve just two and five months respectively in prison for taking part in a college bribery scheme to get their daughters into school.
The couple’s two daughters, Olivia Jade, 20, and Bella Mossimo, 21, fell out with their parents after the fallout from the scandal when it was made public last year.
But, the threat of looming jail-time has brought the family closer together, USWeekly reported.
‘Olivia and Bella were devastated when Lori and Mossimo told them they were pleading guilty,’ a source said.
‘The girls have been spending a lot of time at their parents’ house recently, and they are becoming much more of a tight-knit family.’
Olivia Jade, who is a Youtuber and Vlogger, was furious when she was dropped by major brands Sephora and TRESemme, and felt her mother had ‘ruined everything’, a source told USweekly last year.
Both girls were also dumped by their sorority house Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Southern California.
Lori and Mossimo had been facing 40 years behind bars each for paying Rick Singer, the scheme mastermind, $500,000 to pass their daughters off to officials at USC as rowing stars when neither had ever played the sport.
They were arrested in March 2019 along with 50 other parents including actress Felicity Huffman.
The couple pleaded not guilty immediately and insisted they thought they were giving money to charity but on Wednesday, the pair both signed plea agreements where they accepted they will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
As part of their plea deal, Lori will serve two months in prison and pay $150,000 and Mossimo will serve five months in prison.
Both will plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.
Both had been facing additional charges – conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery; conspiracy to commit money laundering – that have been dropped.
Though they are still enrolled at USC, Olivia Jade and Bella Giannulli were kicked out of Kappa Kappa Gamma in July last year.
‘Olivia and Bella were both in Kappa Kappa Gamma and the sorority has since kicked them out and is trying to distance themselves from the situation as much as possible,’ a source told US Weekly.
USC did not allow either girl to withdraw from their studies. Instead, it placed a hold on the account of every student who had been tied to the scandal and reviewed their cases individually.
The source said that Olivia and Bella had become closer than ever because of the scandal, saying: ‘This has strengthened their bond more than anything possibly could.’
The Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter at USC posted a photo of Bella on its Instagram page in August 2018 to encourage students to sign up for rush.
The sisters kept a low-profile since the scandal, but there were consistent reports of a bitter rift between Olivia and her parents.
In May last year, it was reported that the influencer had ‘barely spoken’ to either of them for months, with several media outlets suggesting that she had been staying with friends while she looked for her own permanent residence away from her parents’ sprawling Bel Air home.
Olivia’s decision to withdraw from social media was also a clear indication of her desire to take a step away from the scandal and her involvement in it.
Despite past reports of bitter tension in the family, the siblings made a return to social media in July to wish their mother a happy birthday, after disappearing from Instagram for six months in the wake of their parents being charged in the college bribery scandal.
However, she made an emotional return to the site when she shared an old photo of her mother cradling her as a baby, along with the caption: ‘one day late. happy birthday. i love you so much.’
Her post came less than 12 hours after Bella shared her own heartfelt tribute that included a black and white photo of herself posing with her actress mom.
‘Happy birthday mama. I love you,’ she captioned the image, which was uploaded six months after her last post —a snapshot of herself and her younger sister raising their middle fingers to the camera that was shared on January 26.
Felicity Huffman was one of the first to admit her part in the scandal. She served just 14 days in prison last year for paying $15,000 for a proctor to change her daughter Sophia’s SAT score.
Lori and Mossimo listed their Bel Air mansion for sale earlier this year for $28million.
At the time, sources told TMZ it had nothing to do with their case or any mounting legal fees and that the couple wanted to move on for Mossimo to explore another architecture project.
Singer had an array of exam monitors and sports staff within the colleges on the payroll who facilitated it.
Loughlin and her husband paid half a million dollars to help their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, get into USC by pretending they were sports stars.
More than 50 people were charged after months of investigation which involved Singer cooperating with the authorities and recording some of his phone calls with parents.
Lori and Mossimo denied it immediately and said they thought they were giving to charity.
Other parents, like Huffman who paid to have one of her daughter’s test scores augmented to make it more impressive, admitted their roles and tearfully apologized in court.