“She’s embarrassed and hurt, and she knows that her reputation has been ruined for life," a legal source tells PEOPLE about Lori Loughlin

By Emily Strohm
August 21, 2019 07:30 AM

Since the college admissions scandal broke, Lori Loughlin’s every move has been under scrutiny. But while some have criticized the Fuller House star for seeming indignant in the wake of the scandal, a legal source says that’s far from the truth.

“Lori is remorseful, and she has definite regrets,” the source tells PEOPLE about Loughlin, 56.

“She’s embarrassed and hurt, and she knows that her reputation has been ruined for life. But she also believes the allegations against her aren’t true,” the source shares.

“She honestly didn’t think what she was doing was any different than donating money for a library or athletic field,” adds the source. “That’s the crux of why she pleaded not guilty.”

  • For more on Lori Loughlin and her involvement in the college admissions scandal, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday 

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On March 12, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts announced it had indicted Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, 56, in the shocking nationwide scam dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. The pair and nearly 50 other parents, coaches, exam proctors and admissions counselors are accused of such actions 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 admissions consultant William “Rick” 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.

While 14 defendants, including actress Felicity Huffman, agreed to plead guilty in April, Loughlin and Giannulli declined a plea deal.

“They weren’t ready to accept that,” says the legal source.

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli

RELATED VIDEO: Lori Loughlin’s Daughters Return to Instagram to Wish Mom Happy Birthday After Scandal

Loughlin and Giannulli are due back in court Aug. 27, when they’re expected to waive their rights to separate attorneys, as both are being represented by attorneys from the same law firm in order to put forth a “united front.”

Still, the waiting can be excruciating.

“Lori is ready for this to be over,” says the source. “They all are. At this point, it would be better to spend a few months in jail — because she’s been spending the last several months in her own prison.”

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