Lori Loughlin Finds Support Amid College Admissions Scandal in 1 Surprising Place While Her Friends ‘Hang Back’

It’s not a good time to be Lori Loughlin. The When Calls the Heart actress and mother of two has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last few months as part of an extensive college admissions scandal.

Loughlin and her millionaire husband, Mossimo Gianulli, stand accused of paying $500,000 to a college admissions consultant to get their daughters Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella, 20, admitted into the University of Southern California.

Loughlin and Gianulli both denied their involvement in the bribery ring, claiming they thought the money was a donation and not intentional bribery. But a grand jury didn’t see it the same way. The pair was indicted in April and will stand trial soon. If convicted, they face up to 40 years in prison.

Lori Loughlin
Lori Loughlin | Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In the meantime, Loughlin and Gianulli are finding out who their real friends are as neighbors decide whether to associate with the couple.

Most people think Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Gianulli are guilty of bribery

They haven’t gone to trial yet, but the court of public opinion has ruled that Loughlin and Gianulli are guilty. They’re just one of several wealthy families accused of bribing college admissions counselors to get their kids into college.

Loughlin is best known for her work on the sitcom Full House and Netflix sequel Fuller House, plus the popular Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. Meanwhile, Mossimo Gianulli made his mark in the fashion world with his eponymous fashion brand.

Friends are cautious to associate with Loughlin

Lori Loughlin
Lori Loughlin | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

The couple resides in Bel Air and used to have an active social life. But ever since news of the scandal broke, they’ve been ostracized and ignored from former friends who don’t want to risk having their names associated with the drama.

“They’re calling less, inviting less. Hanging back — for now. If [Giannulli and Loughlin] are not convicted, everything will go back to the way it was,” one insider predicted. “But if they are, well, they might want to move. It’s sort of Bel Air ‘Bonfire of the Vanities.’”

Their former friends have a practical reason for steering clear, though. Many have children who are almost college-aged and don’t want to risk being associated with the admissions scandal in any way.

Some people are still supporting Lori Loughlin

Even though her friends have all but disappeared, that doesn’t mean Lori Loughlin is going through this difficult time alone. Firstly, she has her husband Gianulli to keep her company. And the couple has also been finding support and guidance at their church.

Loughlin’s friend told Page Six that she’s still faithfully attending The Church of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic church in Beverly Hills. “They [Loughlin and Gianulli] feel a lot of support there,” the friend explained.

Lori Loughlin
Lori Loughlin | SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images

Loughlin swears she’s innocent

Fellow actress and co-defendant Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to similar charges, but in her case, she had hired someone to correct her daughter’s SAT answers, which was much more involved than Loughlin’s accusations.

“[Huffman] pleaded guilty because she arranged for her kid to cheat on a test. It’s a whole different case,” a friend of Loughlin insisted. “Lori and Mossimo didn’t know what they were doing.”

Through it all, Lori Loughlin remains insistent that she’s innocent of wrongdoing. Her trial is expected to start at the beginning of 2020. In the meantime, she’s finding solace in her family, the friends who stuck by her, and her church family.