Lori Loughlin has been paying close attention to the 14-day jail sentence of Felicity Huffman — and even tried to reach out to her fellow actress to discuss it, a source close to the Full House star tells PEOPLE.
“She wanted to encourage her, and see how she was doing,” the source says. “She feels like their fates are tied together now, even though they weren’t really friends before.”
Huffman, 56, reported to prison on Tuesday. According to the source, Loughlin, 55, wants to see how Huffman deals with her time behind bars. “She wants to debrief Felicity after jail to find out what it was like and what her advice would be,” says the source. “She feels like Felicity’s time in jail will be an indicator on her own time, and she’s extremely curious to know how it goes.”
The source continues: “She’s definitely hoping that Felicity’s time in prison will go easy for her, because that will be a positive sign that, if Lori has to serve time, that she’ll be able to weather it as well. Of course, it’s still very important for her to be exonerated of all charges against her. She still maintains her innocence, and hopes it won’t come to that. But if she does end up serving time in prison, she wants to know what she’s getting into.”
On March 12, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts indicted Huffman, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli in the shocking nationwide scam dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. Nearly 50 other parents, coaches, exam proctors and admissions counselors are accused of actions such as paying for boosted SAT scores and lying about students’ athletic skills in order to gain them acceptance to elite colleges including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford.
Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to Singer to falsely designate daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, 19, and Isabella Rose Giannulli, 20, as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, though neither actually participated in the sport.
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Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes. Singer then allegedly facilitated cheating on Huffman’s daughter’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers after the fact.
Huffman pleaded guilty in May, and was sentenced to 14 days in jail. Additionally, a judge fined the Desperate Housewives actress $30,000 and said she would be on supervised release for one year. She will also have to do 250 hours of community service.
Loughlin and Giannulli declined a plea deal and await trial.
Loughlin’s rep told PEOPLE the actresses did not connect before Huffman reported to jail.
“Their cases are very different,” says the Loughlin source. “But Lori wants to know how Felicity is holding up. Ultimately, however, Lori believes that she will be found not guilty by the courts, and won’t have to spend any time in jail. That’s what she’s counting on.”