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With Her Parents in Prison, Olivia Jade Opens Up

'We messed up,' she says of herself and parents Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2020 1:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Olivia Jade Giannulli appeared on Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk Tuesday in hopes of "leav[ing] it on the table." It being her family's part in the college admissions scandal, a role that earned parents Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli prison time. People reports it marked the first time the 21-year-old sat for an interview since the allegations emerged last year that her parents paid $500,000 to get her and sister Isabella Rose into the University of Southern California as crew-team recruits; Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May. Olivia described the unfolding of the scandal and how she "went home and hid myself for probably three or four months." As for USC, "I shouldn't have been there in the first place, clearly, so there was no point in me trying to go back."

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She said she's not trying to play the victim, but thinks that at just 21, she should get a second chance. "We messed up," she says, not that she originally saw it as a mess-up. Olivia explained that she initially "didn't see the wrong" in what her parents did, with CNN explaining that from her privileged perspective, paying a college recruiter seemed like the norm. She suspects her mom might have her own awakening while behind bars, describing it as "a positive that she's in there right now." NBC News reports the show is co-hosted by Pinkett Smith's daughter and mother, and mom Adrienne Banfield Norris said she tried to push hard against Olivia's appearance. "I just found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to her for her redemption story," Banfield Norris said. "Her being here is the epitome of white privilege to me." (Read more college admissions bribery scandal stories.)

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