Sharing her truth. Olivia Jade has broken her silence regarding the nationwide college admissions scandal that landed her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, in prison. The 21-year-old joined Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith for an episode of Red Table Talk to "have an open conversation" and "publicly share my experience for the first time."
"This has been a really eye-opening experience for me and situation, and although there's a lot of negativity around it and a lot of mistakes and wrongdoings, it's led me to have a completely different outlook on a lot of situations," Olivia Jade explained before admitting she knew what her parents were up to prior to their conviction.
"I feel like a huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege. So when it was happening, it didn't feel wrong. I was in my own bubble, focusing on my own comfortable world." Olivia Jade continued to reveal she wasn't angry at her parents when the scandal became public because she didn't see what was wrong with the situation. "I was like 'why is everyone complaining? I'm confused what we did.'
"There is no justifying or excusing what happened... I think every single person in my family can be like 'that was messed up. That was a big mistake'" she added, while noting her family will grow from their past mistakes. "I'm 21, I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself, to show I've grown.
"I didn't come on here to win people over... I just want to apologize for contributing to these social inequalities," she added.
The young influencer said she hasn't been able to see her parents yet because of the pandemic and thinks this is a good time for her mom to learn from and reflect on her mistakes. The YouTuber explained she found out about her parents' arrest while on spring break. "I remember feeling embarrassed, ashamed and getting the hell home," she noted after the scandal became public.
Olivia Jade also said she didn't attempt to return back to the University of Southern California. "I shouldn't have been there in the first place," she confessed. "My parents came from a place of just 'I love my kids. I just want to help my kids. Whatever's best for them.' I think they thought it was normal," Olivia Jade said while reiterating her parents' actions cannot be excused.
Loughlin began serving her two-month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif., on Friday, October 30. The 56-year-old will have to complete 100 hours of community service when she's released. Giannulli began his five-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, Calif., on Thursday, November 19, and will have to complete 250 hours of community service and two years of supervised release. The parents of Olivia Jade and Isabella, 22, both paid off their fines: Giannulli had to cough up $250,000, while Loughlin paid $150,000.
Loughlin and the 57-year-old were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as part of the crew team — neither Olivia Jade nor Isabella had ever played the sport. While they initially pleaded not guilty, the co-parents' had a change of heart and took a plea deal in May.
The Full House alum has reportedly been "doing OK" as she "attends church services... hangs out with a group and keeps to herself" amid her time in prison. While she is expected to be released by the end of December, Loughlin is hoping to be released before Christmas. "As of right now, Lori is being told she will be released before the new year," a source told Us Weekly. "Lori wants all this behind her as soon as possible so she can start next year off with a fresh start."
Loughlin and Giannulli didn't want to initially accept a plea deal because the mother of two wanted "one parent to be free to provide emotional support to the girls," a source told Us Weekly in May. "Lori's concern all along has been Isabella and Olivia Jade."
"It’s just a nightmare for them," a source told PEOPLE of how Olivia Jade and Isabella are doing amid the school bribery scandal. "They were very upset when they said goodbye to Lori. But to have both of their parents now in prison at the same time is very upsetting."
Despite the disgraced family going through a rough year, they are standing by each other's side and hoping to move on from the parents' controversial scam. "They understand that mistakes were made, but that in order to move forward," a source told Us Weekly. "They need to forgive and move forward."