Olivia Jade Giannulli Opens Up About Family’s ‘Big Mistake’ In College Admissions Scam

source https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/12/08/olivia-jade-giannulli-lori-loughlin-red-table-talk-college-admissions-scam/

(CBS/CNN) — Olivia Jade Giannulli is opening up about the college admissions scandal that landed her parents, actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, in prison. The beauty influencer appeared on a new episode of “Red Table Talk” Tuesday, explaining that she wanted to “publicly share my experience for the first time” in a “place that feels really safe.”

Jada Pinkett Smith, who hosts the Facebook Watch show with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and daughter, Willow Smith, said in a teaser: “Olivia Jade felt it was time to speak.”

Loughlin and Giannulli admitted to paying William “Rick” Singer $500,000 to help get their two daughters admitted to The University of Southern California. The parents pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges earlier this year in Boston federal court. Loughlin told a judge she was “truly, profoundly and deeply sorry” in her sentencing statement.

Giannulli began serving a five-month sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex Lompoc last month. Loughlin, who is serving a two-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, is scheduled for release in a few weeks.

“It’s been hard, 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,” said Olivia Jade Giannulli, who goes by her first and middle names professionally. “What happened was wrong and I think every single person in my family can look at it and 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 be shamed and punished and never given a second chance… I’m 21. I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself to show I’ve grown.”

She added that she hasn’t spoken to her parents recently due to Covid-19 protocols.

Olivia Jade Giannulli revealed that when she was applying to colleges, she “wasn’t fully aware of what was going on,” and had been living in a bubble where paying a college recruiter was the norm.

“When it first happened I didn’t look at it and say, ‘Oh my God like how dare we do this?’ I was like, ‘Why is everybody complaining? I was confused what we did.’ That’s embarrassing to admit,” she said, adding that she was a good high school student, but didn’t deserve to be at USC.

A resume for Olivia Jade Giannulli, revealed in court documents, claimed she rowed in the Head Of The Charles Regatta, finishing in 14th place in 2017 and 11th in 2016.

“I wasn’t slacking in high school. I don’t want to discredit myself to the point where I was like I have all this and I also didn’t care. I really did care. I was also a very involved student,” she said. “I think I put a lot of trust into a person that claimed their profession was college counseling and it led me in a wrong direction. It’s not to shift blame it’s just to explain that I wasn’t aware of what was going on.”

She added that she is now working with inner city youth and plans to continue working with underprivileged kids going forward.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN’s Marianne Garvey contributed to this report.)

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