Olivia Jade’s parents have been embroiled in the college admissions scandal. Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli, would be crew recruits for the University of Southern California. The celebrity couple originally pleaded not guilty in the scandal before flipping their plea nearly a year later.
- “No matter what the situation is, you don’t want to see your parents go to prison,” she said on the show. “But also I think it’s important for us to move on and move forward.”
Here’s a breakdown of what Olivia Jade spoke about on the show. The Deseret News received an advanced copy of the episode. The episode aired Dec. 8 on Facebook Watch.
Why she chose to speak out now
Olivia Jade joined the show to seek redemption. despite some consternation from the group.
- Adrienne Norris didn’t support Olivia Jade to come on the show. She considered Olivia Jade’s decision to join the show as “ironic,” and “bothersome to me on so many levels.”
Olivia Jade appeared on the show in all-pink suit. She continued to say she was nervous and she could feel her heartbeat.
- She said “this was a really eye-opening experience for me” and it led her to have a new perspective on different situations.
She said she didn’t want to go somewhere where she would feel “attacked” and instead wanted to speak on a show where she could feel “understood.”
- “It feels safe, but it also feels very honest. It feels like we’re going to all lay out here and have an open conversation.”
Olivia Jade said she learned a lot from the scandal and she doesn’t plan on following in her parents’ footsteps.
- “I want to move forward. And I totally, totally understand if people don’t want to jump on board with me,” she said.
How Olivia Jade felt about the scandal
Olivia Jade then revealed more about her thoughts on the scandal and what happened with her parents.
- “It’s necessary for us to move on and move forward.”
- “What happened was wrong.”
- “I’m 21 and I feel like I deserve a second chance.”
How she learned about her parents arrest
Olivia Jade said she was on spring break when she learned about her parents arrest. She said she left school and felt too embarrassed to return. She said she didn’t deserve to be there in the first place, so she decided not to go back.
- “I just remember getting a call, and it was like, ‘Hey, Liv, have you talked to your mom?’ And I was like, ‘No, why?’ And they were like, ‘Well, I’ll just let you talk to her.’”
- “I was sitting with a group of friends, and I knew any second everybody was going to know too, if they didn’t already. And I remember just like freezing and feeling so ashamed, I went home and hid myself for probably like three or four months.”
- “I wasn’t angry, and I think it’s because I didn’t have a good understanding of what just happened.”
- “Although I’ve had a very strong relationship with my mom and my dad my whole life, I was definitely confused.”
Social media backlash
Olivia Jade said she realized later why people were mad at her on social media. She said she got a lot of backlash. She originally wondered why people were mad at what happened to her family and herself. Now, she said she understand why they were mad at her — she was getting certain advantages over others.
- “We did all of this and we’re so ignorant, and I feel like a huge part of privilege is not knowing you have privilege. And so when it was happening, it didn’t feel wrong. It didn’t feel like, that’s not fair, a lot of people don’t have that.”
- “That’s embarrassing within itself that I walked around my whole 20 years of life not realizing, like you have insane privilege. You’re like the poster child of white privilege and you had no idea.”
Why her parents participated in the scandal
Olivia Jade said her parents wanted to do their best for the children, so they ended up involving themselves in the scandal. She said her parents thought they worked hard to provide for the children so they thought what happened was normal.
- “I wasn’t aware of what was going on. I did work hard and when this did come out, I was a little confused. ... If only people knew how bad I feel that this happened.”
- “They didn’t have much to say.”
Olivia Jade said she hasn’t spoken to her parents since they went to prison.
- “There’s a quarantine phase, just cause of COVID, so I think that’s the reason, but I just haven’t heard anything, so I’m just waiting.”
Olivia Jade said her dad, Mossimo Giannulli, didn’t want his children to leave California. At the same time, Loughlin ended up working a lot, leaving a lot in the hands of Mossimo, she said.
Olivia Jade said her parents didn’t go to college, so they wanted to make sure their children did.
On her relationship with her sister
Olivia Jade and her sister, Isabella Rose, are currently living together and remain close. Olivia Jade said her sister is a little more laid back and doesn’t freak out about the scandal as much.
- “She’s good,” she said.
The bigger story
Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli are serving out prison sentences. Loughlin has about three weeks left in prison — she is slated to be released Dec. 28 — and Giannulli is looking at a March release date.
Before the “Red Table Talk” interview, Olivia Jade and her sister were reportedly worried about what was happening to their parents, as I explained for the Deseret News.
- An unnamed source told People magazine the whole scenario was “just a nightmare for them. They were very upset when they said goodbye to Lori. But to have both of their parents now in prison at the same time is very upsetting.”
- “They are beyond worried. They can’t wait to have their mom home in December, though. They try to focus on this.”