Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, may not have a choice when it comes to testifying in court. Earlier this week, rumors began to circulate that the two teens were aware of their parents’ involvement in a bribery scheme with the University of Southern California, which was allegedly a part of a bigger college admissions scandal including over 50 individuals and several schools across the nation.
A criminal defense lawyer based in Massachusetts, Edward Molari, explained to Hollywood Life that, if Olivia, 19, and Isabella, 20, did know about the scandal, they may be “forced” to testify in an upcoming trial.
“If the government has evidence establishing probable cause that the children committed a crime, bringing charges against the children is entirely within the government’s discretion,” Molari said. “That also means that if the government wants a child to testify against their parent, the government can force them to do so, whether they want to or not.”
Molari added that Loughlin and Giannulli would be violating the law if they ask their daughters to withhold their knowledge of the scandal.
“[Olivia and Isabella] also have no right to decline to testify against a parent if subpoenaed to testify,” the lawyer continued.
Loughlin and Giannulli were arrested in March for allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to University of Southern California coaches and administrators to have their daughters admitted to the school as crew team recruits. Neither Olivia nor Isabella had previously participated in the sport.
The two parents were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. In April, they pleaded not guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Loughlin and Giannulli risk facing at least 20 years of prison time if convicted.
It is unclear if either of the girls were truly aware of the efforts their parents made to gain admission. However, a source alleged to Us Weekly this week that Olivia “fully knew” what the actress and fashion designer were up to.
“[She] didn’t think there was anything wrong with it,” the source said. “She didn’t get into any other California schools.”
Meanwhile, other sources say that the young YouTuber would like to return to school soon. She and her sister fell victim to severe bullying when the scandal came to light and left the university. Now, Olivia reportedly would like the chance to continue her studies and prove that she can get through college without her parents’ help, according to Page Six.