Lori Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli and Bella Giannulli are reported “very distraught” after their mother started her prison sentence. The former Full House star surrendered to authorities on Friday after she agreed to plead guilty to charges related to her role in the college admissions scandal involving William Rick Singer. Loughlin will spend two months in prison before her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, serves a five-month prison sentence.
Olivia Jade, 21, and Bella, 22, said their goodbyes before Loughlin, 56, turned herself in, a source told E! News. “It was a big moment for their family and everyone was very upset,” the source said. “Although the girls knew it was coming and have had time to prepare, it’s still devastating to see their mom go.” The sisters are “very distraught” about their mother going to prison, the source said, adding, “They are grateful it is for only two months but are anxious knowing they will have a very different and hard holiday season this year.”
The insider noted Loughlin was also “upset” but tried to put on a “brave face” for the family Friday. “She’s trying to be strong. She’s ready to get in and out and close the door on this chapter,” the source explained. Another source said Loughlin was only accompanied by her lawyer when she surrendered. She was “nervous but she wanted to go first and get it over with,” the second source said. The prison sentence was “hanging over her head” and she hoped to be home for the holidays and “put this behind her.”
After more than a year in court, Loughlin and Giannulli, 57, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges related to the “Operation Varsity Blues” federal investigation into Singer’s college admissions bribery scheme. According to prosecutors, the couple paid Singer to have Olivia Jade and Bella admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though both of them never participated in rowing.
In August, Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison, two years of supervised release, and a $150,000 fine. Giannulli was sentenced to five months and was allowed to serve his prison sentence after Loughlin completes hers so their children are not alone. Loughlin was ordered to surrender to authorities by Nov. 19 but chose to do so early. She surrendered at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, located about 40 miles east of San Francisco. It is the same facility where actress Felicity Huffman spent 11 days after she pleaded guilty to charges related to the bribery scandal.