Risky business. Lori Loughlin‘s public image might not be able to fully recover after pleading guilty in the infamous college admissions scandal.
“At this point I don’t know if she can make a comeback, it was the length of time she pretended she was innocent and people won’t be that forgiving,” New York-based image consultant Amanda Sanders tells Us Weekly exclusively. “Lori thought she was above the law and entitled and now the sentencing may be heavier because she tied up the courts for a year.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed on Thursday, May 21, that the Full House alum, 55, agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud as part of a plea deal in the case.
Her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will also plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
Loughlin and the fashion designer, 56, were arrested in March 2019 for allegedly paying $500,000 to make sure their daughters, Bella, 21, and Olivia Jade, 20, would be accepted into the University of Southern California.
Before finally agreeing to a plea deal, the couple previously pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, bribery and money laundering.
Despite the TV star’s admission of guilt, Sanders thinks Loughlin will have a hard time getting the public back on her side.
“I think people know that Lori’s back was up against a wall,” the consultant says. “You’re innocent for a year and change your mind with a guilty plea, it comes off as arrogant. I don’t think she would have hurt career and family as much if she had been upfront with the courts and legal authorities right away.”
As part of the repercussions of their involvement in the scandal, the When the Heart Calls actress has agreed to serve two months in prison and pay a $150,000 fine.
After completing her time behind bars, Loughlin must serve two years of supervised release and finish 100 hours of community service.
Giannulli, for his part, will face five months in prison, a $250,000 fine, two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.
Even after facing the consequences of her actions, Sanders says there’s much more Loughlin would need to do to get her “wholesome” public image back, like starting a foundation or going on a speaking tour at different colleges.
“It’s gonna be a long time to get back to that image, if she ever can,” Sanders explains. “Lori is going to have to put a really good spin on why she wasn’t honest sooner.”