- Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are resigning from the elite Bel-Air Country Club following an internal debate among current and former board members.
- Reports from TMZ, People magazine, and Vanity Fair cited a letter from a former club president saying the board should not welcome back “known felons.”
- A source close to Loughlin and Giannulli told People magazine Loughlin and Giannulli were “upset” about resigning, but “didn’t want to be a part of drama and hostility.”
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Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have resigned from the Bel-Air Country Club just a month after pleading guilty in the college admissions scandal, according to multiple reports.
Loughlin and Giannulli had been suspended from the club while facing charges in the college admissions scandal. Federal prosecutors say the couple paid the scheme’s ringleader $500,000 to guarantee their daughters’ admissions to the University of Southern California.
The couple pleaded guilty in May, and the club’s board voted to reinstate them after they serve sentences for their crimes.
But not all members were happy to hear Loughlin and Giannulli were being welcomed back – in a letter obtained by TMZ, the country club’s former president, Michael Gallagher, criticized the board’s decision to reinstate the couple’s membership.
“This unprecedented board decision to allow felons to continue as members causes irreparable reputational harm to the Club and its members,” he reportedly wrote. “The board action, taken on behalf of the Club’s membership, now establishes our Club as a place of refuge and comfort for known felons.”
Gallagher said reinstating Loughlin and Giannulli would make a “laughingstock” out of the club, which, according a 2011 report from the Hollywood Reporter, charges more than $150,000 just to become a member.
“That ‘this situation’ resulted from ‘their actions outside the Club’ can only be considered a failed attempt at misdirection as it is completely irrelevant,” he wrote. “These felony guilty pleas are of their own making and reputational harm comes from their continued ‘membership’ affiliation with the Club. Suspending membership, while the offender is imprisoned, is an illusory penalty and does nothing to address the reputational damage brought on by their continued membership.”
A source close to Loughlin and Giannulli told People magazine that they felt they “had no choice” but to leave the club, whose members and former members include Jack Nicholson, Les Moonves, Clint Eastwood, and Ronald Reagan.
“The club has been an important part of their social life for a long time. They didn’t want to resign, but also felt they didn’t want to be a part of drama and hostility,” the insider told People. “They were upset about it, but felt like they had no choice. They didn’t feel welcomed.”
Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty in the college admissions scandal via Zoom broadcast on May 22.
Loughlin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Giannulli pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud.
As part of a plea deal, Loughlin is expected to serve two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, do 100 hours of community service, and spend two years on supervised release. Giannulli is expected to serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine, do 250 hours of community service, and spend two years on supervised release.
Loughlin and Giannulli are scheduled to be sentenced in August.
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