AceShowbiz - Lori Loughlin may be keeping her heads up during recent public appearances amid the college admissions scandal, but how is she exactly dealing with the situation? Now that she and her husband Mossimo Giannulli face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for two charges in the case, a source reveals the actress' anguish about her future.
The "Full House" alum, who didn't join 13 other parents, including Felicity Huffman, and one university athletic coach to plead guilty to the charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, initially believed that she would avoid prison time. A source tells E! News, "She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by." The source adds, "She refused to accept any jail time and thought the DA was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn't do any jail time."
After spending more time in seclusion in her six-bedroom Bel-Air mansion, she reportedly has had second thought about her situation. "Lori is finally realizing just how serious this is," the source dishes on, noting that the 54-year-old actress regretted not accepting the initial deal. "She is seeing the light that she will do jail time and is freaking out."
Lori and her husband Mossimo were indicted with 48 other people, including "Desperate Housewives" alum Felicity Huffman, for their alleged involvement in the nationwide college admissions scandal. After initially charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, the pair were indicted on additional charge of money laundering for trying to disguise the bribes as donation for William Singer's purported charity and his for-profit corporation.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. They are currently free on $1 million bond each.
Legal experts have weighed in on the case, explaining why rejecting the plea deal would not be good for Lori. "Felicity Huffman pleading guilty and giving such a perfect statement of remorse and contrition is a very bad sign for Lori Loughlin," said CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman.
"If you go forward and fight this case you really could wind up with a sentence that is a lot of time in prison," she added. "By having all these guilty pleas at one time ... it's to send a message out there to the remaining defendants that you better get in here and you better get in here quick."