Olivia Jade Giannulli is opening up about the college admissions scandal that landed her parents, actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, in prison.
The beauty influencer appeared on a new episode of “Red Table Talk” Tuesday, explaining that she wanted to “publicly share my experience for the first time” in a “place that feels really safe.”
Jada Pinkett Smith, who hosts the Facebook Watch show with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and daughter, Willow Smith, said in a teaser: “Olivia Jade felt it was time to speak.”
Loughlin and Giannulli admitted to paying William “Rick” Singer $500,000 to help get their two daughters admitted to The University of Southern California. The parents pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges earlier this year.
Giannulli began serving a five-month sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex Lompoc last month. Loughlin, who is serving a two-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, is scheduled for release in a few weeks.
“It’s been hard, for anybody no matter what the situation is you don’t want to see your parents go to prison but also I think it’s necessary for us to move on and move forward,” said Olivia Jade Giannulli, who goes by her first and middle names professionally. “What happened was wrong and I think every single person in my family can look at it and be like that was messed up, that was a big mistake but I think what’s so important to me is to learn from the mistake. Not to be shamed and punished and never given a second chance… I’m 21. I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself to show I’ve grown.”
She added that she hasn’t spoken to her parents recently due to Covid-19 protocols.
Olivia Jade Giannulli revealed that when she was applying to colleges, she “wasn’t fully aware of what was going on,” and had been living in a bubble where paying a college recruiter was the norm.
“When it first happened I didn’t look at it and say, ‘Oh my God like how dare we do this?’ I was like, ‘Why is everybody complaining? I was confused what we did.’ That’s embarrassing to admit,” she said, adding that she was a good high school student, but didn’t deserve to be at USC.
“I wasn’t slacking in high school. I don’t want to discredit myself to the point where I was like I have all this and I also didn’t care. I really did care. I was also a very involved student,” she said. “I think I put a lot of trust into a person that claimed their profession was college counseling and it led me in a wrong direction. It’s not to shift blame it’s just to explain that I wasn’t aware of what was going on.”
She added that she is now working with inner city youth and plans to continue working with underprivileged kids going forward.