Remember March 2019, when Lori Loughlin got busted for allegedly paying $500,000 to get her daughters into college?
It feels like so long ago, and people have finally stopped talking about the college admissions scandal every single day. That’s perhaps why Lori’s older daughter, Bella, recently reactivated her Instagram account.
The 20-year-old originally deactivated her account in April, just after her parents pleaded “not guilty” to their charges. Younger daughter Olivia Jade, 19, didn’t deactivate her account, but she did completely cease posting.
Now both of Lori Loughlin’s daughters are officially back on the ‘gram.
Funnily enough, they made their return to wish their mother a happy birthday.
Bella chose to post a recent photo of herself and Lori, while Olivia Jade posted a throwback photo of herself as a baby in her mother’s lap.
Lori and husband Mossimo Giannulli are due to appear in court on August 27. They face felony charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and honest services mail fraud.
In case you’ve forgotten one of the biggest celebrity scandals all year, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli were arrested in March on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. They allegedly paid bribes totaling $500,000 to have their daughters falsely designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team in order to gain admission into USC.
The couple was offered a plea deal in April, but it included jail time, so they opted not to take it. They pleaded not guilty to both charges.
This plea gives the couple the chance to possibly avoid jail time if they’re found not guilty. They’ll also get the chance to argue their side of the story in court, which is reportedly important to Lori.
“Lori feels like so much damage has been done publicly that the only way for her to counter it is to fight this case in court,” a source close to the couple told People in April. “She feels like once all the evidence is presented, that people will understand how things happened.”
Other sources said that Lori apparently was having trouble understanding that she’d actually done anything wrong. And according to their lawyers, they’re innocent.
“Giannulli and Loughlin are innocent of the charges brought against them and are eager to clear their names,” said documents obtained by the Mercury News.
Meanwhile, the entire family has been flying much more under the radar than usual. Olivia Jade, having lost her spot at USC, reportedly moved out of her mom’s house to start her own life and was seen shopping for furniture at Ikea. She was also spotted out partying on a couple occasions.
Olivia, formerly an active Instagram influencer with multiple brand partnerships, stopped posting on social media after her parents’ initial arrest. Bella completely deleted her Instagram after her parents pleaded not guilty.
Three months later, the sisters are back, at least for a moment.
Bella’s post came first. She posted a simple birthday tribute to her mother on Sunday.
“Happy birthday Mama,” the caption read. “I love you.”
Olivia Jade commented on Bella’s post, then followed up with her own similar post today.
“One day late. Happy birthday. I love you so much,” Olivia Jade wrote.
Neither sister could tag their mom. Lori deleted her Instagram account after her arrest, and she’s not back on the platform yet. The actress is reportedly scared of what’s going to come out about her during the trial, when her entire life will be under a microscope.
“Everything comes out in trial, whether or not it’s relevant to the case,” a source close to Lori told People. “She will be under a microscope, and you only have to look at the paparazzi outside the court to know that there is widespread interest in this case. She will lose every bit of her privacy, and that’s a shame. This really is a family matter.”
Lori is also nervous about going on trial because of the likelihood that her daughters will have to take the stand. Neither Olivia Jade nor Bella has been charged in connection with the case, and it’s not clear yet whether they definitely knew about the fraud or not, but it seems very likely that they’ll have to testify.
“Lori is very afraid that her daughters will have to testify. That will traumatize them even more,” a legal source told People.
Lori and Mossimo face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
Prosecutors allege that the couple paid $500,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, which was a front for accepting bribes. Over 50 parents and other people involved in the scheme were arrested as part of the case.
Rick has pleaded guilty to multiple charges and admitted his role as the ringleader of the scam.
Other defendants also chose to plead guilty, including actress Felicity Huffman, who broke down in tears as she read her plea to the court. She faces up to four months in jail.
Lori and Mossimo are due for their next court appearance on August 27. They’re expected to waive their rights to separate attorneys at the hearing. Both of them are being represented by lawyers from the same law firm; it’s their way of presenting a “united front.”
And judging by Olivia Jade’s and Bella’s Instagram posts, the entire family is putting up a united front right now. The scandal continues!