Lori Loughlin & Her Family Reportedly ‘Outraged’ Over Being Labeled ‘Cheaters’ In USC Admissions Scam

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Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli put on a brave front in public as they faced allegations in the nationwide college admissions scam earlier this month. But behind the scenes, they are reportedly breaking down.

An insider told People that after pleading not guilty to the charges against them earlier this week, the Fuller House star and her designer husband are upset about how the case is playing out in the public eye. The insider said Loughlin and her family resent how the scandal is playing out on social media, and they take issue with being labeled “cheaters.” The source close to Loughlin told People the scandal “is putting unspeakable stress on her and her family.”

“They’re having to play this all out publicly, and they’re fair game for jokes and memes, but also outraged [by] people who are saying that they are cheaters. They’re being destroyed.”

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have been accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters, Isabella and Olivia Jade, into the University of Southern California as fake crew team recruits. After Loughlin was arrested last month, the story immediately spawned Aunt Becky jokes—Loughlin’s longtime TV character— and social media memes pegged Aunt Becky going from Full House to the big house.

And the couple’s situation recently went from bad to worse. After rejecting a plea deal for the initial charges against them, the wealthy couple was slapped with new charges of mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Now, Loughlin and Giannulli could be headed to court where the entire story will play out in public—and in more social media memes.

“The idea of going to trial is terrifying for Lori. Everything comes out in trial, whether or not it’s relevant to the case. She will be under a microscope, and you only have to look at the paparazzi outside the court to know that there is widespread interest in this case. She will lose every bit of her privacy, and that’s a shame. This really is a family matter.”

If convicted on all charges, Loughlin and Giannulli could face up to 40 years in prison.

While Lori Loughlin’s decision to plead not guilty is shocking to her fans—prosecutors are reportedly in possession of phone recordings and incriminating emails between the actress and alleged scam mastermind Rick Singer— a source close to the fallen star maintains the Giannullis really didn’t realize the severity of their actions.

An insider close to the couple said Loughlin and Giannulli did not realize they were breaking laws when they paid Singer’s phony foundation a half million dollars to get their daughters into USC, as previously shared by The Inquisitr. The source insider told Entertainment Tonight Loughlin and Giannulli feel they were “manipulated” and misled by Singer, and that “they were under the impression they might be breaking rules, but not laws.”

“They in no way felt they were money laundering. They thought the money would be used for a donation and to benefit the school,” the insider added.

In early April, Lori Loughlin smiled for fans and happily signed autographs on her way to a court appearance in Boston, but she reportedly “broke down crying” behind the scenes when she found out how much jail time she could be facing.