Lori Loughlin is ready to fight, people.
The polarizing actress is apparently willing to risk her freedom and whatever is left of her reputation by denying she did anything illegal when helping her kids apply for college.
That’s right: Loughlin just pleaded not guilty in the admissions bribery scandal that has captivated a nation.
Lori and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, entered not guilty pleas to all charges in court this morning: conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud, along with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
They entered said pleas via documents submitted by their lawyers.
The charges, as you must know by now, stem from the allegation that Loughlin and Giannulli engineered their two daughters’ way into college through very unethical and illegal means.
They were indicted in mid-March for supposedly paying a middle man $500,000.
This middle man then bribed an official at the University of Southern California to pretend that Loughlin’s kids were athletic recruits, thereby lowering their admission standards and allowing them to be accepted into the semi-prestigious school.
Over the past several days, numerous outlets have reported that Loughlin didn’t take the federal charges seriously at first.
Hence why she chose NOT to sign a plea deal similar to the one signed by Felicity Huffman.
Huffman, the other famous name associated with this scandal, did plead guilty last week, did issue an apology and did take responsibility for her actions.
As a result, she likely will not end up in prison for more than a few months… if she gets sentenced to jail at all.
But Loughlin has thus far bristled at any notion of any sort of deal.
Previously, the U.S. Attorney out of Boston gave all of the parents charged in this scheme an ultimatum:
Either accept a plea or the case would go to the Grand Jury and additional charges would be filed — and this is exactly what happened to Loughlin and her husband.
They now could be sentenced to 40 years behind bars.
Does this seem likely? No.
But if there really are recordings of Loughlin arranging to make her bribe, and if she is eventually found guilty, it seems very easy to believe that she’ll face real prison time in the end.
How great would that be?!?
"At this point, [Loughlin] is getting complete clarity and she’s scared and in terrible shape," a source recently told Entertainment Tonight, adding:
"She has been in complete denial and thought maybe she could skate by. She refused to accept any jail time and thought the DA was bluffing. She was adamant she wouldn’t do any jail time."
Conversely, after Huffman agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, she said the following:
“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions."
Loughlin is playing a very different legal game here.
And a very dangeorus one as well.