Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are facing federal charges for allegedly bribing officials to get their daughters into college. Now, those daughters could testify against them, a criminal lawyer tells us.
Operation Varsity Blues could get more complicated for Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. The actresses’ daughters, whom they’re accused of fraudulently getting into college by bribing school officials, could be called to testify against them in court, a criminal defense lawyer explained to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of bribing USC coaches with $500,000 to have their two daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli, 19, and Isabella Giannulli, 20, admitted to the college as part of the rowing team. Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to a test proctor to inflate her 18-year-old daughter Sofia Macy‘s SAT scores. The three young women, as well as Huffman’s 17-year-old daughter, Georgia Macy, are legally allowed to be called to the stand.
“Unlike when one spouse is called to testify against the other spouse, there is no such thing as daughter [testimonial] ‘privilege’ or daughter [testimonial] ‘election’ the way there is, by law, in most situations with spouses in an intact marriage,” Brad Bailey, a Boston criminal defense lawyer, said. Huffman, Loughlin, and Giannulli are being tried on charges of fraud in Boston along with 11 other suspects in the college admissions scandal. “In other words, a daughter has no right to withhold confidential communications made by a parent if asked about them in court and no right to decline to testify against a parent (without risking contempt) if so subpoenaed to testify.”
Just because it’s the court’s legal right to put the actresses’ children on the stand does not mean it will happen, however. “Whether or not the government would want the negative PR of pitting a daughter against a parent in a court of law against that daughter’s will in a case like this is altogether another question,” Bailey noted. The four girls haven’t spoken publicly about their parents’ scandal, but Olivia Jade, a popular YouTube influencer, has lost multiple beauty deals and sponsorships in the wake of the FBI sting. As a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, she’s even, sadly, losing friends; she didn’t ask for any of this to happen.
“Olivia loves her parents very much, but has feelings of doubt and betrayal,” the source said. “She wanted to focus on her career, but her parents were adamant about a college education, so she felt she never had a real choice to begin with. She was an aspiring influencer who had made a name for herself and felt she was just starting her career. And now, she can’t help but wonder if this will ever go away and what she’ll do next. It hurts.”
The Fuller House and Desperate Housewives stars appeared in a Boston federal court yesterday, April 3, for their preliminary hearing in front of a judge; they did not yet enter pleas for their multiple charges of mail fraud, for which they were arrested in mid-March. If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison.