You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Lori Loughlin and husband's friends, neighbors distancing themselves as college bribery case moves forward

Wonderwall logo Wonderwall 8/25/2019 Marisa Laudadio

Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are finding the world is a much lonelier place since they were indicted on money laundering and conspiring to commit fraud charges earlier this year amid a high-profile college cheating and bribery scandal.

Lori Loughlin et al. posing for the camera: Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli leave the John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme. © KATHERINE TAYLOR/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli leave the John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme.

According to a new report in the New York Post, friends, neighbors in the couple's Bel Air enclave and associates have really pulled back or distanced themselves from the couple, who prosecutors claim paid $500,000 to a college admissions consultant in a bribery scheme to get daughters Olivia Jade, 19, and Bella, 20, into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits even though neither student participated in the sport.

"A lot of these people are socially prominent, give to charities, have done the right things wealthy people are supposed to do in this town. They're scared they might get ostracized by association," a Bel Air insider told the Post.

Explained a family friend: "They're calling less, inviting less. Hanging back -- for now." If the former "Full House" and "When Calls the Heart" star and the onetime fashion designer -- who are both facing 40 years in prison if convicted and have pleaded not guilty -- are cleared, however, "everything will go back to the way it was," said the friend. "But if they are [convicted], well, they might want to move [from their $35 million mansion]. It's sort of Bel Air 'Bonfire of the Vanities.'"

Lori Loughlin et al. posing for a photo: Olivia Giannulli, Lori Loughlin and Isabella Giannulli attend the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening benefit at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles on Feb. 28, 2019. © Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock Olivia Giannulli, Lori Loughlin and Isabella Giannulli attend the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening benefit at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles on Feb. 28, 2019.

A Lori source also told the Post that pals and neighbors with college-age kids or children preparing to apply to schools are wary of being linked to the Giannulli family right now. "The [friends and neighbors] with kids in college or kids who'll be applying to colleges next year, they're afraid an association with Lori and Mossimo -- even with Olivia and Bella -- might make them appear 'entitled,'" adds the Lori source, "which is something you don't want to seem, even in Bel Air, at least for this moment."

One place Lori and Mossimo do feel the love, however, is at church, another friend told the Post, which reports that Lori attends mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills each week: "They feel a lot of support there."

Lori and Mossimo have otherwise continued to lay low. Lori, for example, has cut back on yoga classes and Body by Simone workouts, the Post reports. "[They] are being contemplative and spiritual right now," said the first family friend. "Lori goes out a little bit, but the paparazzi follow her everywhere. She's like a hunted animal."

Lori Loughlin et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli, in green tie, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019, after a hearing involving their alleged participation in a college admissions cheating and bribery scandal. © Jessica Rinaldi / Boston Globe via Getty Images Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli, in green tie, leave the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019, after a hearing involving their alleged participation in a college admissions cheating and bribery scandal.

The couple -- who the first family friend insists "didn't know what they were doing," didn't realize their money would be seen as a bribe and feel "they got taken advantage of" by admissions consultant Rick Singer -- have a status hearing on Aug. 27 and are expected to go to trial in 2020.

They will present a united front during the appearance, People magazine reported last month. "Giannulli and Loughlin are innocent of the charges brought against them and are eager to clear their names," attorneys told the court in legal documents, which were excerpted by People. "And they believe their interests will be advanced most effectively by presenting a united front against the Government's baseless accusations."

Celeb courtroom fashion over the years:

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Wonderwall

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon