Twitter reacts to Lori Loughlin's plea in college admissions scandal

Actress Lori Loughlin and her clothing designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have turned heads yet again following their alleged involvement in the college admissions bribery scandal.

On Monday, April 15, 2019, both parties entered not guilty pleas to their charges in federal court documents filed in Boston, Mass., CNN reports.

While anyone charged with an alleged crime is, of course, innocent until proven guilty, a number of social media users quickly took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the matter. One person tweeted, "She must believe in the 'celebrity defense' which has proven a great defense for many celebrities." While referring to Loughlin's most famous character, Rebecca Donaldson Katsopolis on Full House, they added, "She must believe a jury will see an innocent Aunt Becky and not a guilty Lori Loughlin." 

"It blows my mind how stupid lori loughlin is," another person bluntly wrote. Meanwhile, another Twitter user shared (via TooFab), "Lori Loughlin are your attorneys that good or are you just that arrogant?"

Readers may already be aware that Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, have faced growing pressure in the public eye to plead guilty over the last week. As Nicki Swift previously reported, the married pair were among dozens of other parents accused of bribing their children's ways into elite schools in mid-March 2019. For their part, they allegedly paid $500,000 for daughters Isabella Rose, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19, to be accepted as crew team recruits at the University of Southern California. 

At the time, Loughlin and Giannulli were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and faced up to 20 years in prison. However, they were both indicted with a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge just last week, which carries another maximum two-decade sentence (via CNN). 

The additional charge followed reports that Loughlin had turned down a plea deal, further fueling public criticism. According to a source cited by E! News at the time, "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."

More recently, an insider addressed Loughlin's apparent reluctance to enter a guilty plea, telling People magazine on Friday, April 12, "She is very concerned about what a guilty plea would do to her daughters, who may not have grasped everything that was going on." The source added, "Yes, she can think about the public perception of her, but that's nothing compared to what her daughters think of her. So that is something that has understandably made her less likely to enter a plea."

All that aside, it's impossible to not compare Loughlin's legal plight with that of actress Felicity Huffman, who's the other famous face implicated in the college admissions scandal. The Desperate Housewives alum was accused of bribing an exam proctor $15,000 to correct answers on her 18-year-old daughter Sofia Grace's SAT. 

After being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, the 56-year-old TV star made headlines when she entered a guilty plea on Monday, April 8 (via CNN). "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," Huffman wrote in part in a lengthy statement at the time. She added, "My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty."

While seemingly making note of the media coverage surrounding the two actresses, one person recently tweeted, "Felicity Huffman is damn lucky that Lori Loughlin exists!" Meanwhile, another Twitter user wrote, "Yo, who is advising Lori Loughlin? What in the hell? Even the man who masterminded the whole thing plead guilty." This last tweet was in reference to California businessman William Rick Singer, who allegedly founded the fraudulent non-profit organization around which the elaborate cheating scheme centered, the Key Worldwide Foundation, and has since pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, tax conspiracy, and obstruction of justice.

Elsewhere in the Lori Loughlin news sphere, the actress was spoofed on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. Comedian Kate McKinnon portrayed an incarcerated Loughlin during a sketch, in which her fellow celebrity inmates compared their respective alleged crimes. "You think that's insane?" McKinnon asked the others. "I paid $500,000 to get my daughter into USC … I'm loco."

Meanwhile, the Hallmark Channel officially renewed When Calls the Heart on Sunday, April 14, according to People. The news comes weeks after it was announced that the show would move forward without Loughlin, who'd starred as widow Abigail Stanton, in the cast.