Shortly after Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded not guilty on all charges related to the college admissions scam, their eldest daughter Isabella Giannulli deactivated her Instagram account on Tuesday.
Isabella’s younger sister, Olivia Jade, remains technically active on the social media platform, though she hasn’t made a post since before the scandal broke and even went so far as to deactivate comments on her most recent posts. They were getting filled with some rather nasty criticism.
While not a social media influencer like Olivia Jade, Isabella’s page was still quite popular and perhaps gained even more scrutiny after the scandal. Like Olivia Jade’s posts, Isabella’s were rife with negative comments. Loughlin deleted her own social media presence a month ago amid the initial backlash to the admissions scandal.
Neither sister has spoken publicly about the ongoing scandal and both remain enrolled at USC, as USA Today reported in late March. That said, though, TMZ reports the girls do not intend to return to the school “for fear of bullying.”
The girls’ parents have been accused, alongside actress Felicity Huffman and dozens of other parents, of bribing their kids into elite schools. Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to pass their daughters off as members of the USC crew team, even though neither competitively rowed before.
After pleading innocent, prosecutors added conspiracy to money launder charges onto the conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, which in turn doubled their potential maximum prison sentences to 40 years. But the couple insists they thought they were making a donation to benefit the school.
Many have scoffed at the actress for not simply taking the “legacy donation” route like affluent alumni parents have been doing for years; it appears Loughlin’s legal strategy is to attempt to prove that’s exactly what she believed she was doing. But there is doubt it will work.
“[Their friends] have explained to them that they cannot just plead ignorance,” a source told ET. “In the end, [Loughlin] trusts those who are advising her and somehow believes there is a chance she will go free.”
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