Olivia Jade Giannulli says she hasn’t spoken to her mother, Lori Loughlin, or her father, Mossimo Giannulli, since they went to prison. She talked about her experiences with the college admissions scandal on Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch.
Lori Loughlin was a lead character in Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart. She checked into prison on October 30 after she was sentenced to two months in prison, plus two years of supervised release.
She Hasn’t Spoken to Either of Her Parents Since They Went to Prison
Olivia Jade Giannulli appeared on Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch, speaking with host Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith, and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones. She said she hasn’t spoken to either of her parents since they went to prison, which is unusual since she is so close to both of them.
“I actually haven’t spoken to either of them,” Giannulli said. “There’s a quarantine phase just ’cause of COVID, so I think that is the reason. But I’m not too – I just haven’t heard anything. So I’m just waiting… I’ve never gone that long without… I’m super close with my parents, especially my mom…”
She said she hopes this will be a time of reflection for her mother.
“I know she’s strong and I know it’s a good reflection period. … She gets to really rethink everything that happened, kind of figure out when she comes out what she wants to do with what she’s learned through all of this,” Giannulli said.
She Said She Wasn’t Aware of What Was Happening When She Was Applying to College
Giannulli was on Spring Break with friends when the scandal first broke.
“I remember…freezing and feeling so ashamed,” she said. “I went home and hid myself for probably like three or four months and school was still in session… There was a lot that when I was applying that I was not fully aware of what was going on. So when I got home, I just felt so ashamed.”
She didn’t go back to school after that, she said, because she realized she wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.
“I’m not trying to victimize myself. I don’t want pity… I don’t deserve pity. We messed up…,” she said. “…I never got to say, ‘I’m really sorry that this happened.’”
She said her parents may have thought what they were doing was normal.
“I think they thought it was normal,” Giannulli said. “And I think that there was a college counselor involved who seemed legitimate and ended up not being legitimate, and in that community, it was not out of the ordinary. And it’s embarrassing to say that I didn’t know.”
But, she added, she really did work hard in high school.
“I worked my a** off in high school,” she said. “I wasn’t slacking in high school. I don’t want to discredit myself to the point where I was like, ‘I have all this and also I didn’t care.’ I really did care. I was always a very involved student. I think that I put a lot of trust into a person that claimed their profession was college counseling, and it led me in a wrong direction. And it’s not to shift blame, but it’s just to explain… I wasn’t aware of what was going on.”
She said she was confused by the news reports about her college application.
“I did work hard and when this did come out I was a little confused when I saw stuff about what I had written on my application,” she told The Red Table. “…I remember writing on my application about my YouTube channel and VidCon, and they were two very different things…’”
She said that for a while, she was in her own little bubble and didn’t realize that what was happening was wrong. At the time when the news broke, she wondered why so many people were angry at her. But, she said, now she understands that she was privileged and didn’t realize it. She’s now helping with an after-school program that’s helping shift her mentality of what she was taking for granted and trying to figure out what her next steps will be.
“I just want to apologize for contributing to these social inequalities,” she said.
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