Full House actress Lori Loughlin's trial in the college admissions scandal has not even started yet, but she is preparing for the worst. Loughlin reportedly hired a prison advisor to help her understand what life will be like behind bars. She faces up to 45 years for her alleged role in the scandal if convicted.
"She has someone who is advising her what to do in case she loses her case and goes to prison," a source told PEOPLE Friday. "The advisor is there to help her learn the ropes. That's not to be construed that she thinks she's going to lose her case. Lori is a planner, and she is doing what she needs to do for all contingencies."
The 55-year-old actress and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have been accused of paying Key Worldwide Foundation admissions consultant Rick Singer $500,000 to get daughters Olivia Jade Gianniulli, 20, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 21, into the University of Southern California. Singer got the two accepted by USC as crew recruits, even though neither of them played the sport. According to prosecutors, the scheme included taking photos of Olivia and Isabella using rowing equipment.
Loughin and Giannulli were initially charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and honest services mail and wire fraud. In October, prosecutors added one count each of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery.
Unlike actress Felicity Huffman, who was paid Singer $15,000 to help one of her daughters get into college, Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty to their charges. Huffman reached a plea deal to serve 14 days in jail, pay a $30,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service. The Desperate Housewives star only served 11 days in jail before being released early.
A source close to Loughlin told PEOPLE she still plans on mounting a "vigorous defense." That started last month when the couple's legal team filed a motion in which they claimed the couple did not know Singer planned to use their donation to bribe USC officials.
"They realize that if they are convicted, they'll have to serve time," PEOPLE's source said. "And they're figuring out what that would look like, which includes hiring a consultant to explain prison life to them."
The source said the idea is to help Loughlin lean how to keep a low profile and stay safe in prison.
"Obviously, she's going to stand out, because of all the publicity and because she's a star," the source explained. "She can't do anything about that. But she doesn't want to stand out because she's so green that she does the wrong things."
According to PEOPLE's source, the advisor is helping Loughlin learn how to avoid making mistakes in jail because "table manners" and "social interactions are different." The source points out that Loughlin will want to avoid making eye contact with others.0comments
"Prison is a very different world than Hollywood, and Lori is just trying to be prepared," the source added, pointing out the obvious. "She's preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best."
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