FILE - Olivia Jade Giannulli arrives at the 5th annual People Magazine “Ones To Watch” party in Los Angeles on Oct. 4, 2017. Giannulli, the daughter of the “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, discussed on the Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk” how she’s been affected by the college admissions scandal involving her parents. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Olivia Jade Giannulli arrives at the 5th annual People Magazine “Ones To Watch” party in Los Angeles on Oct. 4, 2017. Giannulli, the daughter of the “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, discussed on the Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk” how she’s been affected by the college admissions scandal involving her parents. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Lori Loughlin’s daughter, Oliva Jade Giannulli, speaks out for 1st time about college scandal

‘I’m not trying to victimize myself. I don’t want pity. I don’t deserve pity’

Maybe Olivia Jade Giannulli had hoped for kid-glove treatment in choosing the family vibe of “Red Table Talk” for her first public comments about the college admissions scandal involving her famous parents.

If so, she was quickly enlightened during Tuesday’s episode of the Facebook Watch series.

“What were some of the repercussions throughout this whole situation?” asked a skeptical Adrienne Banfield Norris, mom of series host Jada Pinkett Smith. “Because you’re a beautiful young white woman who’s been born into privilege, and there would be some people that would feel like, she’ll be fine. I feel that way.”

Giannulli, 21, who admitted to nerves but said she considered the show a safe and open space, denied that she was seeking sympathy. Her parents, “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are behind bars after pleading guilty to paying a half-million dollars to get Olivia Jade and sister Isabella, 22, into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, though neither were rowers.

“I’m not trying to victimize myself. I don’t want pity. I don’t deserve pity,” Giannulli replied to Norris. “We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like, ‘I recognize I messed up.’ And for so long I wasn’t able to talk about this because of the legalities behind it.

“I never got to say I’m really sorry that this happened, or I really own that this was a big mess-up on everybody’s part. But I think everybody feels that way in my family right now,” said the onetime social influencer, who lost deals with prominent brands and left USC in the scandal’s aftermath.

“What’s so important to me is … to learn from the mistake, not to be shamed and punished and never given a second chance,” said an earnest Giannulli, dressed in a bright pink pantsuit.

She’s said trying to overcome her sheltered perspective and find a way to contribute.

“I understand that I, just based off my skin colour, I already had my foot in the door and I was already ahead of everybody else. … I can recognize that going forward. I do want to do stuff to change that and to help that,” she said, adding that had worked with children in an afterschool program in the Watts section of Los Angeles recently.

Pinkett Smith, who said she had agreed to bring Giannulli on her show over her mother’s objections, struck an understanding tone with her. So did Pinkett Smith’s daughter, Willow, also part of the series.

Giannulli was asked about seeing both parents incarcerated.

“No matter what the situation is, you don’t want to see your parents go to prison…. But also, I think it’s necessary for us to move on and move forward,” she said. She hasn’t been in touch with either of them since they entered prison, which she said may have to do with COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.

Loughlin began serving her two-month sentence in a federal prison in California on Oct. 30, while her husband’s five-month term, also in the state, began Nov. 19. Plea deals also called for fines and community service for the pair.

They were among some 30 prominent people, including actor Felicity Huffman, to plead guilty in the case federal prosecutors dubbed Operation Varsity Blues. It uncovered hefty bribes to get kids into elite colleges with rigged test scores or fake athletic credentials.

Lynn Elber, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

college admission scandal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Duncan area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Sorting food to deliver to community members isolating due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Back row from left: Philomena Wilson, Sosefina Aleck, Ethan Wilson and Lucetta Wilson. In front is Kennedy Aleck. (Submitted)
“Let’s share a meal even if I can’t sit with you”: Cowichan woman’s food drive helps feed members in isolation

Positive response to missing ceremonies and rising racism benefits dozens of households

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. [CDC]
Lake Cowichan daycare closes for 10 days due to COVID-19 exposure

A client at Creative Angels Daycare came in contact with someone who tested positive

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read