She was a YouTube star before it all came crashing down. Olivia Jade Giannulli is the younger daughter of actress Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, but she’s so much more than just a celeb kid. Despite getting caught up in the college admissions scandal, the popular YouTube and social media personality will be competing on season 30 of Dancing With the Stars.
Who Is Olivia Jade?
Olivia may be young, but she’s already a star in her own right. She runs a YouTube channel with over 2 million subscribers as of September 2021; on Instagram, she boasts 1.3 million followers. Beauty and fashion seem to be her main topics of discussion, and she had a deal as an influencer with Sephora. However, just two days after news broke that her mother, among other celebrities, had been indicted as part of a college admissions scam, the company decided to end its partnership with Olivia Jade, “effective immediately.”
By summer 2021, the 21-year-old signed on to be a contestant on DWTS. In September, host Tyra Banks defended Olivia’s decision to take part in the show.
“I think Olivia is so brave. I think people don’t know her, they know what happened to her,” the America’s Next Top Model alum, 47, told Entertainment Tonight.
“She has said that she did not know about what was going on and it’s really sad, and it’s very hurtful when something publicly happens but you had nothing to do with it. So I trust that she says she didn’t know.”
What Did Olivia’s Parents Allegedly Do?
Lori, 57, was indicted on March 12, 2019, and an arrest warrant was granted for her on March 11 for “conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.” Lori and her husband, Mossimo, 58, allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling 500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters [Isabella and Olivia] designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”
Where Does Olivia Jade Go to College?
Well, she was accepted to and attended the University of Southern California. However, she’s no longer there. During an interview with Jada Pinkett Smith on the Red Table Talk in December 2020, the brunette babe revealed she quit school after news of the scandal broke.
“I just remember feeling embarrassed, ashamed and getting the hell home,” she recalled during the chat, adding that she “never went back.”
Previously, a source told In Touch Olivia likely wouldn’t return because “everyone is talking about her, and she’s terrified she’ll be attacked by bullies because of the scam. Right now, she feels like her whole life is over.”
Did Olivia Know About the Scam?
Olivia admitted she knew about the scam but claimed she didn’t know everything. “I didn’t really 100 percent understand what had just happened because there was a lot that when I was applying I was not fully aware of, so when I got home, I just felt so ashamed. I was like, ‘I can’t go back there, this is wrong.'”
According to Us Weekly, Lori emailed the cooperating witness in the national college admissions scam case to “request guidance on how to complete the formal USC application, in the wake of her [other] daughter’s provisional acceptance as a recruited athlete,” so at the very least she may have known that she was accepted as an athlete when she wasn’t one.
In an affidavit excerpt obtained by The Atlantic, Lori allegedly wrote, “[Our younger daughter] has not submitted all her colleges [sic] apps and is confused on how to do so. I want to make sure she gets those in as I don’t want to call any attention to [her] with her little friend at [her high school]. Can you tell us how to proceed?”
A sentencing memo from the prosecutors in August 2020 explained the extent to which the girls were involved, and seemed to claim they were aware of the scheme. “They involved both their daughters [Isabella and Olivia] in the fraud, directing them to pose in staged photographs for use in fake athletic profiles and instructing one daughter how to conceal the scheme from her high school counselor,” said the note.
What Has Olivia Said About the Scandal?
Olivia’s YouTube channel went on hiatus after March 10, 2019, and she returned to the platform briefly in December 2019. “Obviously I’ve been gone for a really long time … as much as I wish I could talk about all of this, I know it’s something that needs to be addressed … I’m legally not allowed to speak on anything going on … I wish I could say something but I really can’t, so I’m going to leave it at that.”
She went on the explain how conflicted she felt about making videos again but that she missed uploading on the platform. She has since returned to her channel, posting on average about every few weeks.
What Has Olivia Said About College?
Olivia has talked quite a bit about school, and in hindsight, the comments aren’t good. In an August 2017 video, the YouTube personality chronicled the first day of her senior year of high school, and at one point she revealed to the camera, “I’ve gone to one class and I already want to die.” She clarified that she didn’t actually want to die, but continued, “I just want to go home.”
Plus, before she headed off to college, Olivia said in a video posted August 14, “I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend, but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all … But I do want the experience … I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.” Those are the sort of comments that came back to bite her.
Lori reported to prison in October 2020 and was released in December. She completed her 100 hours of court-mandated community service in February 2021. Meanwhile, Mossimo reported to prison in November 2020 and was released to a halfway house to complete the remainder of his sentence in home confinement, In Touch exclusively reported in April 2021. He completed his home confinement sentence on April 16. A source revealed the couple are now looking forward to “starting new.”
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