Lawyers for Hollywood star Lori Loughlin pushed back this week against the government’s requested October trial date for the actress and her fashion mogul husband, instead proposing the couple stand trial in early 2021 for their alleged crimes in the college admissions cheating scandal.
In a filing submitted Wednesday in US District Court in Boston, Loughlin’s five attorneys said the court shouldn’t green light an October trial. Eight other defendants charged along with Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, also put their names on the filing.
An October trial, the document said, “is not feasible in light of the large volume of outstanding discovery, the timeline for resolving dispositive motions, and the general complexity of the case.” Loughlin’s attorneys instead proposed starting the first trial for defendants charged in a superseding indictment that includes their celebrity client “no sooner than February 2021.”
Loughlin, whose scene-stealing portrayal of Aunt Becky on the beloved sitcom “Full House” endeared her to millions, and Giannulli are two of the more than 50 people charged in the sprawling case, in which wealthy parents allegedly cut large checks to get their children falsely classified as athletic recruits at fancy schools, or to facilitate cheating on their SAT and ACT exams.
Giannulli and Loughlin are both charged with several felonies for allegedly agreeing to pay $500,000 to William “Rick” Singer, the scam’s admitted mastermind, to get their daughters falsely designated as crew recruits at USC, paving their way to admission to the campus, which boasts sterling academic programs as well as a storied sports tradition.
The couple has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The university confirmed last fall that their daughters no longer attend the elite school.
In Wednesday’s legal filing, Loughlin’s team also took issue with prosecutors’ proposed trial groupings for a number of charged defendants, including the actress and her husband, and proposed different ones.
“The Court should reject the Government’s proposal for several reasons, including because it ... will be affected by unrelated prejudicial evidence, thus greatly increasing the likelihood of prejudicial error,” the filing said. “... Indeed, the Government does not articulate any organizing principle for its trial groups whatsoever. Whatever its logic may have been, the Government’s proposal is seriously flawed because it makes no effort to group similar Defendants together.”
Loughlin isn’t the only Tinseltown star caught up in the scheme.
Actress Felicity Huffman, the former “Desperate Housewives” star who also floored critics with her gutsy performance in the film “Transamerica,” did less than two weeks in prison for paying a $15,000 bribe to pad her daughter’s SAT score.
Huffman, who’s married to “Shameless” star William H. Macy, a character actor who won plaudits for his soul-bearing performance as a former game show contestant in “Magnolia,” also paid a $30,000 fine and was ordered to put in 250 hours of community service.