Charles Krupa, Associated Press
Actress Lori Loughlin departs federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

SALT LAKE CITY — Former “When Calls the Heart”and “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin feels she had no choice but to plead not guilty in the college admissions scandal, CNN reports.

Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded not guilty on Monday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each of those crimes could land them in jail for 20 years, according to CNN.

The couple reportedly paid $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannullicould be team crew recruits for the University of Southern California, according to the Associated Press.

But a source told CNN that Loughlin felt she didn’t have a choice.

  • "Lori doesn't understand why she's getting so much criticism for pleading not guilty," the source said. "People must not realize that she had no choice. The plea deal has been taken off the table, and this is the only way they've been told she and Mossimo can avoid jail time and get another plea (deal). They are hoping justice will prevail."

Yes, but: A law enforcement source told CNN that Loughlin nor her husband have engaged in serious plea deal discussions. Right now, Loughlin wants to repair the damage to her family.

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  • "She is focused on repairing her relationship with (her daughter) Olivia," the source added. "Things are very tense."

Family: A legal source told People magazine that Loughlin is concerned with how the trial and ongoing legal issues could impact her daughters’ lives.

  • “Lori is very concerned about what a trial will do to her daughters,” the source told People magazine. “It will undermine every accomplishment they have in the future and it will be part of their story forever.”