Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Olivia Jade Speaks Out on College Cheating Scandal
While Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are serving their prison sentences, their daughter Olivia Jade is opening up on the college cheating scandal that landed them there.
Olivia is telling her side of the story on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk.”
During the interview, the YouTuber shared her take on the scandal, saying, "We had the means to do something and we completely took it and ran with it. It was something that it was wrong. It really can’t be excused. On paper, it’s bad — it’s really bad. But I think what a lot of people don’t know is my parents came from a place of just, ‘I love my kids. I just want to help my kids — whatever is best for them — I worked my whole life to provide for my family.’ I think they thought it was normal.”
While admitting "what happened was wrong," Olivia Jade noted it was necessary for her "to learn from the mistake, not to now be shamed and punished and never given a second chance."
She stressed, "I’m 21. I feel like I deserve a second chance to show I’ve grown.”
As for her decision to speak out, Olivia Jade explained, "I feel like a huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege, and so when it was happening, it didn't feel wrong. I also felt very misunderstood. The picture that has been painted of me, I feel like, is not who I am. I’m not this bratty girl that doesn't want to change anything. Also, I understand why people are angry and understand why people say hurtful things and I would too if I wasn't in my boat."
"When you read it, you realize that there's, like, some truth. I understood that people were upset and angry, and maybe it took me a little bit longer to understand what for, but man, am I glad I did realize," Olivia Jade continued. “I took my privilege and all my blessings for granted, and I never thought anything of it.”
Olivia Jade noted that it's "been hard" while her parents are both in prison.
Olivia Jade hasn't been able to visit her parents, explaining, "There’s a quarantine phase because of COVID. I think that is the reason, but I’m not too sure. I just haven’t heard anything so I’m just waiting."
Of her mom's current state of mind, she said, "I know she’s strong and I know it’s a good reflection period.”
Earlier this week, a teaser of Olivia Jade's interview was released. In the clip, Olivia Jade is heard saying in a voiceover, “I've watched this show and I think you guys are all amazing and it feels really safe."
Olivia Jade emphasized, “But it also feels honest and it feels like we're going to all lay it out here and it's going to be an open conversation.”
.@oliviajadee is now breaking her silence after being caught in the middle of one of the biggest school bribery scandals. Now that her parents Lori Laughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are serving short prison terms for their participation in the scandal ... pic.twitter.com/p5oEVidsxJ
Along with the teaser, Jada tweeted, “.@oliviajadee is now breaking her silence after being caught in the middle of one of the biggest school bribery scandals. Now that her parents Lori Laughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are serving short prison terms for their participation in the scandal ...”
Olivia Jade promoted her interview, writing on Instagram, “Thank you @jadapinkettsmith@adriennebanfieldnorris @willowsmith for bringing me to the table so I can publicly share my experience for the first time. Tune in to @redtabletalk tomorrow 9:00 AM PT on @facebookwatch ♥️."
According to People magazine, Olivia Jade is focused on rebuilding her career, which has been rather quiet since the scandal broke last year. A source told the outlet, “She accepts responsibility for her part in it. Everything she worked for was put on hold because of all of this, but she wants to keep following her passions. She’s young. When it feels right, she does want to continue everything she had been building before. Her path hasn’t changed."
Lori reported to prison in late October to serve her two-month sentence. Mossimo followed her lead a few weeks later to serve his five-month sentence.
According to court documents filed last year, Loughlin and Giannulli "agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC."
Loughlin and Giannulli were among 50 charged in the scandal last year. Nearly two dozen of the parents have pleaded guilty, including Felicity Huffman.