Lifestyle influencer Olivia Giannulli is the youngest daughter of TV star Lori Loughlin
and clothing company founder Mossimo Giannulli.
But she's also been caught up in a bombshell college admissions scandal, with her parents
charged with fraudulent activity to get her into school.
Here's everything that's come out about Olivia's involvement.
In recent years, Giannulli has grown a social media brand for herself under the name Olivia
Jade, boasting nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers and 1.3 million followers on Instagram.
But while she certainly has a passion for beauty and fashion, Olivia is not as big a
fan of higher learning.
In 2017, while still in high school, she tweeted with exasperation that she hated school, adding,
"It's so hard to try in school when you don't care about anything you're learning."
For the most part, it's a relatable sentiment, and nothing out of the ordinary.
Olivia kept her education going after high school, being accepted into the University
of Southern California, where she enrolled as a freshman in the fall of 2018.
But that development is coming under extra scrutiny thanks to her parents' involvement
in a nationwide college admissions scheme that allegedly benefited Olivia and her older
sister, getting them into USC via a very shady side door.
In March 2019, Olivia's celebrity parents were scooped up in an FBI investigation called
"Operation Varsity Blues," which has been described as the largest college admissions
scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.
The scandal entangled nearly 50 people, including actress Felicity Huffman and several high-powered
executives and CEOs who allegedly paid millions of dollars worth of bribes to get their children
into elite colleges across the country.
According to court documents, Loughlin and Giannulli,
"[...] agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters
designated as recruits to the USC crew team despite the fact that they did not participate
in crew thereby facilitating their admission to USC."
Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, announced the conclusion
of the operation by saying,
"This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady
application of wealth combined with fraud."
Allegedly, Laughlin and Giannulli arranged to have their daughters recruited into USC
via the school's rowing team, despite the fact that neither one of them is a competitive
As part of the scheme, Olivia allegedly posed for a photo shoot with a rowing machine, to
help sell the story that she was an active participant in crew.
The deception did not go unnoticed.
Reportedly, a high school guidance counselor noticed discrepancies in the sisters' applications
and became concerned that the family was passing off misleading information.
Reportedly, the girls' parents were advised by Donna Heinel, a USC associate Athletic
Director and alleged co-conspirator, to press on with their cover story, and not engage
with the counselor.
The family also reportedly required the assistance of the conspiracy's ringleader, William Singer,
to complete Olivia's college applications without drawing any further suspicion.
"In life, if you give it your all and you do the best you can, there's — that's it,
that's all you can do.
And that's enough — in my opinion."
According to her own statements, Olivia has never been the most enthusiastic student.
She tweeted on February 6th,
"YouTube will always be my #1 passion.
I promise I'd way rather be filming 24/7 than sitting in 6 hours of classes straight."
On March 8th, 2019, days before the scandal broke, Olivia admitted on The Zach Sang Show
podcast that the only reason she's even in college is because, quote, "my parents really
wanted me to go."
She did express gratitude for her parents encouraging her to enroll in college, but
not for the reasons you might think.
Apparently, she grew to consider college as a fun angle for her lifestyle brand, saying,
"It's cool to create [YouTube] content from a whole different side of things.
It's the coolest thing to get DMs from girls who are like, I'm applying to college now!
What did you do?”
Before classes even started at USC, Olivia let her YouTube audience know that school
was going to be very low on her list of priorities.
"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 of like game days, partying."
The influencer also added,
"I don't really care about school, as you guys all know."
The stance caused some of her subscribers to turn on her, calling her privileged, spoiled,
and plenty of other things.
Many reacted poorly to her flippant attitude toward attending a sought-after school, with
one commenter saying Olivia's take on college was, quote, "honestly insulting."
Two days later, Olivia responded with an apology video titled "im sorry," in which she tried
to walk back her dismissive comments.
"I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically, and it totally came across that
I'm going to a really nice school, and it just kind of made it sound like I don't care."
Of course, now that it's come out that she cheated her way into school, her problems
are probably just getting started.
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