The scandal kicked off in 2019 when it came to light that her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli paid $500,000 to scam mastermind William “Rick” Singer to get her and her sister, Isabella, recruited to the University of Southern California’s crew team despite neither girl previously participating in the sport.
Loughlin finished serving two months behind bars in December 2020 for her role in the scandal. Loughlin agreed to serve two months and pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Her husband, Mossimo, 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. He got out of prison in April of last year.
In a recent episode of her podcast “Conversations with Olivia Jade,” the 22-year-old said there’s been “a big misconception about me,” noting that she’s heard the comment, “You don’t work hard” before.
Lori Loughlin with her daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Sephora Collection)
“But I didn’t have to start my YouTube when I was 14. I did put in a lot of work,” she said (via Page Six).
The beauty influencer went on to defend her work ethic and grades she received in school during her teenage years.
“I don’t even think I’ve ever said this publicly but in high school, I had straight A’s. I worked really hard at school.”
Actor Lori Loughlin, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, both served prison time for their roles in the college admissions scandal. (Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Olivia Jade’s podcast episode comes a little over a year since she spoke out for the first time about the scandal in an interview on “Red Table Talk.”
“It’s been hard, I think, for anybody,” the former University of Southern California student admitted to host Jada Pinkett Smith. “No matter what the situation is, you don’t want to see your parents go to prison. But I think it’s necessary for us to move on and move forward.”
Olivia described: “I think that what hasn’t been super public is that there is no justifying or excusing what happened because 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 has since returned to her YouTube channel after a hiatus during the scandal. She also starred on the most recent season of “Dancing with the Stars.” She previously spoke to Entertainment Tonight, about the experience and what the positive reinforcement and admiration means for her after spending so much time feeling “shame” over her part in the college scandal.
ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” stars Olivia Jade and Val Chmerkovskiy. ((Maarten de Boer/ABC via Getty Images))
“I feel like it kind of makes me emotional in a weird way just because… I’m not gonna cry,” she said while visibly fighting back tears. “I think it’s like a sense of, like, I walk outside in the world the last few years, and I have a lot of, like, an overwhelming amount of guilt and shame.”
She previously addressed the scandal on the first episode of the show in the fall of 2021, noting that she was happy to be doing something other than talking about the crimes of her family.
“The last few years I’ve been wrapping up in a scandal,” she said during the premiere. “I did step back from social media and just soak in what everybody was saying. I’m not trying to pull a pity card, I just need to step forward and do better.”