The decade's most triggering comedy
The husband of actress Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli, who along with his wife was indicted last March on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering after allegedly paying $500,000 to have their daughters designated as recruits for USC’s crew team so they could gain admittance to the University of Southern California, exchanged emails with the university in which he allegedly joked about “blowing off” USC.
Newly-released documents reveal that an unnamed official at USC reportedly informed Giannulli that it would be willing to arrange a private tour of the campus and flag the application of Giannulli’s 21-year-old daughter Bella Rose, allegedly writing, “Hi Mossimo — Please let me know if I can be at all helpful in setting up a 1:1 opportunity for her, customized tour of campus for the family… I’d also be happy to flag her application…” Giannulli reportedly replied, “I think we are squared away,”
The official sending that email followed with emails reportedly stating, “On another note, would you be interested in connecting to discuss your own involvement with USC? So much has changed since you were a student. I’d love to be able to update you on the amazing stuff that’s happening. How about meeting in your area on Oct 3rd, 4th or 5th?”
Giannulli reportedly rejected the offer, allegedly stating that he had people that kept him up-to-date, according to Fox News. The official then reportedly replied, “That’s great! If you’d ever like to discuss the impact your philanthropy or participation in our mentorship programs might have on our students and community, please let me know. Alumni support of cancer research, climate science, social justice programs, and the arts and humanities, among other areas, is critical.”
Giannulli allegedly forwarded that email to his wife, quipping that it was “the nicest I’ve been about blowing off somebody.”
USC has defended the emails, stating, “What was being offered to the Giannullis was neither special nor unique. Tours, classroom visits and meetings are routinely offered. The primary purpose of a flag is to be able to track the outcome of the admission review process. It is not a substitute for otherwise being qualified for admission to USC.”
The Daily Mail added, “The fresh documents include an email forwarded to Giannulli with payment details for Senior Women’s Associate Athletic Director, Donna Heinel, who has been charged in the investigation.”
Loughlin and Giannulli’s defense reportedly will offer evidence showing that they thought they were making donations to the university. They have reportedly stated, “ … universities — as part of their legitimate admissions process — regularly solicit donations from the families of prospective students, and … such donations can have a material effect on admissions decisions.”
In April 2019, a source close to the case told People Magazine, “You read the complaint and they look like criminal masterminds. But they really didn’t know the legalities of what was going on. They’re not lawyers and they’re not experts. They were parents who simply wanted to make sure that their daughters got into a good school. Calling in favors, donating money to the alumni association, hiring consultants. Those are all things that parents do. And so they gave money to this consultant, not entirely knowing everything that was going to be done. When it all fell apart, nobody was as surprised as they were that they were in trouble.”
The Daily Mail noted, “Prosecutors have declared such ‘exculpatory evidence simply does not exist’ and have accused Loughlin and Giannulli of ‘relying on a sanitized renditions of the facts.’”
Loughlin and Giannulli have pled not guilty.