Now that they’ve had some time to reflect, Olivia Jade Gianulli and her sister, Bella Giannulli, are defending their mother, Lori Loughlin, who pleaded guilty for her role in the college admissions scandal and served time in person.
On Monday’s episode of Olivia’s podcast, Conversations With Olivia Jade, she sat down with Bella, 23, and reflected on how the “thingy thing with our family” affected their mental health. The siblings also spoke out about what they believed were unfair statements made about their mom.
“We both have a really clear perspective … we can just say we’re in the wrong,” Olivia, 22, said. “I don’t want that generic kind of topic to be twisted that I’m sitting here asking about mental health and what we went through the last few years and people saying, ‘Are they seriously complaining about this?'”
“It’s not complaining,” Bella chimed in. “You have to take what you’ve been through and learn from that. That’s what talking about it and working through it does.”
The YouTuber asked Bella what she was feeling as most of the media coverage was centered on Loughlin, their dad Mossimo, and Olivia.
Olivia Jade Gianulli (L) and her sister Bella (R) appeared on a podcast together and spoke about the college admissions scandal. (Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Sephora Collection)
“I think just the hardest part of this entire thing was watching how horrible, or reading or seeing, how horrible the media was to both you and mom. And actually knowing you guys and knowing mom has the biggest heart,” Bella explained. She then told a story about how her acting coach allegedly said Loughlin, 57, was the nicest person on the “Full House” set.
“I don’t think one person who’s ever worked with mom can say something bad about her because she’s genuinely the nicest person alive,” Bella reasoned.
Olivia echoed her sister’s sentiment. “I think that was hard for me too. I’m not trying to justify or excuse behavior or throw a pity party. … I do very heavily relate to those feelings that you were just saying about mom. I think for me, even though I also was getting dragged negatively, it didn’t nearly affect me as much as seeing mom getting … she really took this whole thing on her back solely.”
Actress Lori Loughlin, left, leaves as her husband Mossimo Giannulli, right, trails behind her outside of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston on April 3, 2019. (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
The “Dancing With the Stars” contestant added, “There are a lot of people that were in this case and a lot of other parents and I don’t know one other person’s name.”
In August 2020, Loughlin and her fashion designer husband pleaded guilty to paying $500,000 to get her and her sister enrolled at the University of Southern California as recruits on the crew team despite neither girl ever participating in the sport.
Actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, left, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at 2019. Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged along with nearly 50 other people in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File))
In December, Loughlin finished serving two months behind bars for her role in the scandal. She agreed to serve two months and pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service.
Giannulli, meanwhile, was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service in addition to a five-month prison sentence. The 58-year-old got out of prison in April.
Actress Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty in May 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
She confessed to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to have a proctor correct her older daughter Sophia’s answers on the SAT. She served 11 days in prison.