Starting a new chapter. Olivia Jade made a name for herself after starting a beauty and lifestyle channel on YouTube in 2014, but she has since become synonymous with the nationwide college admissions scandal which involved her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli. Now, after taking a brief break from the internet, the influencer is ready for a new start.
“I’m probably best known for being an influencer. But the last few years I’ve been — I guess you could say — wrapped up in a scandal,” Olivia told viewers during her Dancing With the Stars season 30 intro package from September 2021. “I’m not trying to pull a pity card, but I need to move forward and do better. I just want to show people I have a different side to me. I have a strong work ethic.”
In March 2019, news broke that Lori and Mossimo had been arrested after they were accused of paying thousands of dollars in bribes to get their daughters — Olivia and her sister, Bella Giannulli — accepted into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, despite them not having played the sport. After initially pleading not guilty, the Full House alum and fashion designer agreed to a plea deal in May 2020 and plead guilty to multiple fraud charges. In August 2020, they were sentenced. Lori spent two months in jail and was released in December of that same year. Her husband, for his part, spent five months in prison and completed his sentence in April 2021. Together they paid $400,000 in fines have since completed their community service hours.
Before her September 2021 debut on DWTS, Olivia appeared on the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk in December 2020 for her first interview following the scandal.
“I don’t want pity, I don’t deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance be like, ‘I recognize I messed up.’ For so long I wasn’t able to talk about any of this because of the legalities behind it,” she said while speaking with hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Jones at the time, noting that she was unaware of the “privilege” she had. “I just want to apologize for contributing to these social inequalities, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.”
Olivia and her sister are no longer enrolled at USC, but they have since attempted to move on from the scandal.
“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 like, to learn from the mistake,” Olivia also said on Red Table Talk. “Not to now be shamed and punished and never given a second chance.”
Click through our gallery to see Olivia’s complete transformation over the years.
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