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Will Lori Loughlin’s daughters be star witnesses?

There’s been rumors out there for awhile that the daughters may be witnesses

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Bella Giannulli, left. Lori Loughlin, and Olivia Giannulli arrive at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Bella Giannulli, left, Lori Loughlin, and Olivia Giannulli arrive at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Jordan Strauss, Invision via Associated Press

Lori Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli could be star witnesses in a potential trial for the college admissions scandal.

The setup: Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, could be crew team recruits for the University of Southern California. The couple pleaded not guilty in the case.

What’s going on: A new report from Us Weekly magazine suggests that Loughlin’s daughters might be star witnesses in a potential trial over the college admissions scandal.

  • An unnamed source told Us Weekly: “Lori has been told by the legal team that the United States Attorney’s Office will use her daughters as star witnesses in hopes of securing a conviction.
  • The source said the daughters “had their world turned upside down when their parents were indicted.”
  • The source said Loughlin reportedly “asked if there was anything that could be done to prevent the girls from testifying.”
  • The source said: “She was told there wasn’t unless there was a change from not guilty to guilty. Accepting a plea bargain would be the only solution.”

This isn’t new: Back in May 2019, Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Edward Molari told Hollywood Life that Olivia Jade could take the stand to face questions about her role in the scandal and what she knew about her parents, according to the Mercury News.

  • Molari: “If the government has evidence establishing probable cause that the children committed a crime, bringing charges against the children is entirely within the government’s discretion. That also means that if the government wants a child to testify against their parent, the government can force them to do so, whether they want to or not.”
  • Molari: “A child doesn’t have the right to withhold confidential communications made by a parent if asked about them in court. They also have no right to decline to testify against a parent if subpoenaed to testify.”

Farther back: Olivia Jade reportedly knew that her parents were trying to get their daughters into the University of Southern California, as I wrote about at the time.

  • “Olivia fully knew what her parents did to get her into USC, but didn’t think there was anything wrong with it,” the source told Us Weekly at the time. “She didn’t get into any other California schools.”
  • The Mercury News: “Whether or not Olivia Jade knew that her parents’ alleged activities were illegal, she had to have known her parents were going to extraordinary lengths to secure her a spot at the selective college.”

The Olivia Jade equation: The scandal has had an impact on Olivia Jade’s career above almost anyone else. Her mother, Loughlin, lost her job on Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart” and Netflix’s “Fuller House.” But Olivia Jade suffered a loss, too. She lost her partnership with Sephora, which worked with her after YouTube success. She only recently returned to social media.

What’s next: Loughlin and her husband will return to court on Feb. 27 for a status conference. She will have a second appearance on May 2 for another status conference.