Former Full House star Lori Loughlin is reportedly putting herself through "grueling" mock trials ahead of her next court appearance in the college admissions scandal. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were accused by federal prosecutors of paying $500,000 in bribes to get daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella into the University of Southern California. On Sunday, Olivia suddenly broke her silence by sharing her first YouTube video since the scandal torpedoed her career as a social media influencer.
Unlike actress Felicity Huffman, Loughlin did not reach a plea deal with prosecutors and her case will go to trial. She pleaded not guilty in November, and her charges include mail fraud and money laundering. Loughlin and Giannulli are facing up to 60 years in prison if convicted.
"Lori has been meeting with her lawyers for days at a time," a source close to Loughlin told Us Weekly on Nov. 27. "It’s her full-time job and she is very involved with her defense. When not at her lawyer’s office, Lori is emailing and texting with the team."
The source said her lawyer is playing the prosecutor in their "gruelling" mock trials, "grilling her." The source added that Loughlin is "adamant about" testifying in court, even though she knows the risks.
A source previously told Us Weekly in early November that Loughlin and Giannulli do not plan on reaching a plea deal.
"Lori turned the corner and backed out of considering a guilty plea due to her husband’s insistence," the source explained. "She had been talking to her lawyers about it, but her friends and family were encouraging her to pursue a plea deal. She’s only listening to Mossimo though."
Meanwhile, Olivia reached out to fans for the first time since federal prosecutors indicted her parents in March. Before, the former USC student was a social media influencer with more than 1 million followers on Instagram and over 1.9 million followers on Instagram.
"Obviously I’ve been gone for a really long time, and as much as I wish I could talk about all of this — it’s really hard to say this, because I know it’s something that needs to be addressed — it’s just, unfortunately, the reason for that is because I’m legally not allowed to speak on anything going on right now,” Olivia said in her new two-minute video. "A part of me is like, Should I come back to YouTube right now? It’s been so long and I actually really, really miss it. I genuinely miss filming and I feel like a huge part of me is not the same because this is something that I’m really passionate about and something I like to do."
Olivia said she was still not able to say anything specific about the case, so she avoided the topic completely.
"It’s so hard, because I’m not trying to make this about me, or how I’ve been, because it’s not the point of this. I’m terrified to make this video and to come back," the 20-year-old said. "I want to start taking smaller steps in the right direction for people that have been DM-ing and asking me."
Photo credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
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