American social media personality Olivia Jade Giannulli has, for the first time, opened up about the college admissions scandal that lander her parents in prison.
The 21-year-old YouTube star appeared on an episode of “Red Table Talk” on Tuesday, where she explained that she wanted to publicly share her experience for the first time.
“I’m not trying to victimize myself, I don’t want pity. I don’t deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like I recognize I messed up,” Olivia Jade said.
Olivia Jade’s parents, Full House actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California. The couple initially denied the charges, pleading not guilty before eventually admitting to the conspiracy charges earlier this year.
Giannulli began serving a five-month sentence at the Federal Correctional Compex Lompoc last month. Loughlin, meanwhile, is scheduled to be released in a few weeks after serving a two-month prison sentence in California. Giannulli and Loughlin also paid $250,000 and $150,000 fines, respectively.
Loughlin and Giannulli were part of an extensive group of parents who used William “Rick” Singer, the alleged ringleader of the scheme, as a purported college admissions adviser.
More than 50 parents and college officials have been accused of participating in the scam, believed to be the biggest college admissions scandal in U.S. history.
In the 30-minute episode, Olivia Jade revealed that she has not spoken to either of her parents because of COVID-19 safety protocols.
“I think 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,” she said.
The YouTube star said that she wants to show the world that she has learned from her family’s mistake, insisting that she “deserves a second chance.”
What hasn’t been super public is that there is no justifying or excusing what happened. What happened was wrong, and I think every single person in my family can 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 now be shamed and punished and never given a second chance. Because I’m 21. I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself, to show I’ve grown.”
Olivia Jade was already starting her freshman year at the USC when her parents got arrested.
“I never went back, I was too embarrassed. I shouldn’t have been there in the first place,” she revealed.
The young influencer, however, admitted that she was oblivious to her privilege and didn’t understand why people were complaining.
“When it was happening it didn’t feel wrong. I was in my own little bubble, focusing on my comfortable world, that I never had to look outside of that bubble,” she said. “A lot of kids in that bubble, their parents were donating to schools and doing stuff with so many advantages.”
She continued, “I now understand why people are angry and I understand why people say hurtful things.”
In an attempt to change her public image, Olivia Jade has been volunteering at an after school program to give back to children who weren’t as privileged as herself.