college admissions scandal

Lori Loughlin Still Thinks the College Cheating Scam Was a ‘Huge Misunderstanding’

Reality bites! Photo: Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Boston Globe via Getty Images

Sometimes, with respect to the law, it can be very hard to know where the crime line is. For example: Paying a relative stranger hundreds of thousands of dollars to Photoshop your child’s head onto the body of an unknown-to-you athlete, purposefully creating the illusion of a long-running adolescent sports career you know your spawn never had — is that a regular thing parents do while helping their kids hone college applications, or is it some flavor of fraud? Muddy distinctions like these can be difficult to parse, just ask Lori Loughlin: She reportedly believes this whole college cheating scam thing has been “a huge misunderstanding.” Really, it could happen to anyone!

Loughlin, as you’ll doubtless recall, got herself in a bit of a pickle this spring, when federal prosecutors charged her for alleged participation in “Operation Varsity Blues.” The former Full House actor had, according to the indictment, shelled out $500,000 to have “admissions consultant” and admitted grifter William “Rick” Singer create fake athletic profiles for her two daughters, vlogger Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, casting them as coxswains looking to join University of Southern California’s crew team. As many of her fellow parents pleaded guilty to fraud charges, Loughlin entered a not guilty plea — a move she is apparently starting to regret, a source close to her told Entertainment Tonight.

“She still feels it’s a huge misunderstanding, but seeing others be sentenced has scared her,” this anonymous confidant said. “She is watching the reduced sentences of those who have taken plea deals, and wondering each day if she’s made the wrong decision.”

“Lori has no choice but to hang in there and do the best she can,” they added, but reality is setting in:

She is trying to live a normal everyday life and to take this time to stay strong but it isn’t easy. Lori doesn’t have the support she once had. She is feeling a ‘fall from grace’ having had a persona as a wholesome mom and now being seen as a pariah. People keep giving Lori a hard time for being out and about and looking carefree, but she realizes that she might end up in prison and this might just be her last months of freedom for some time.

Back in April, an anonymous source emphasized that Loughlin “really didn’t know the legalities of what was going on” when she and her husband, Mossimo Gianulli, allegedly began scheming with Singer. Another source told ET in May that Loughlin “strongly believes she doesn’t deserve” a prison sentence; understands her alleged bribery as a “selfless” act; and thinks she was “duped into breaking the law.”

How sad, to be so misunderstood. Quick, somebody send in William H. Macy with the consolation balloons.

Lori Loughlin Is Still Living in a Dream World