Olivia Jade Giannulli Called Herself "the Poster Child of White Privilege" During Red Table Talk
“I don’t want pity. I don’t deserve pity. We messed up."
It’s been nearly two years since the college admissions scandal shook America to its very scandal-obsessed core. Now, for the first time, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s eldest daughter, Olivia Jade, is speaking out.
The former influencer gave her first interview (ever) on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk with hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Norris.
Olivia Jade, clad in a hot pink pantsuit, came to the table ready to clear the air regarding her involvement in the scandal that sent both Loughlin and Giannulli to prison.
“No matter what the situation is, you don’t want to see your parents go to prison,” she told the hosts, “ but also I think it’s necessary for us to move on and move forward.”
Here’s everything Olivia Jade brought to the Red Table:
On Her Redemption Arc
“What hasn’t been super public is that there is no justifying or excusing what happened, because what happened was wrong,” she said off the bat. “I think every single person in my family can say ‘that was messed up, that was a big mistake.’”
Giannulli insists she’s grown in recent months, and thinks she deserves a second chance.
“What’s so important to me is to now learn from the mistake, not to now be shamed, and punished, and never given a second chance. I’m 21 — I feel like I deserve a second chance, to redeem myself, to show I’ve grown.”
“I’m not trying to victimize myself,” she clarified. “I don’t want pity. I don’t deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like ‘I recognize I messed up.’
On Finding Out About Her Parents’ Indictment While on Spring Break
She remembered getting an ominous call asking whether she’d spoken to her mom. When she said she hadn’t, the caller told her “I’ll just let you talk to her and then call me back."
Though she didn’t initially know what was going on, she recalled having a “really weird gut feeling” and then searching her mom’s name online.
“I was sitting with a group of friends and I knew any second everybody was going to know too,” she said. “I remember freezing and feeling so ashamed I went home and hid myself for probably three or four months.”
On Leaving USC
After the scandal went public, Olivia Jade dropped out of college.
“When I got home I just felt so ashamed,” she said. “I never went back [to school], I was too embarrassed. I shouldn’t have been there in the first place, clearly, so there was no point in me trying to go back.
On How Privilege Clouded Her Judgment
Initially, Giannulli didn’t quite understand why what her parents had done was wrong.
“When all this first happened and it became public, I remember thinking ‘how are people mad about this?’ In the bubble I grew up in, I didn’t know so much outside of it. And a lot of kids in that bubble, their parents were donating to schools and doing stuff … So many advantages.”
“A huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege,” Giannulli admitted. “So when it was happening, it didn’t feel wrong.”
Though she now considers herself “like the poster child of white privilege,” she’s embarrassed that it took a scandal of this magnitude to lead her to realize it.
But privilege aside, she thinks the overall portrayal of her character has been unfair.
“The picture that has been painted of me is not who I am.”
Still, she gets it.
“I understand why people are angry and I understand why people say hurtful things,” she said. “I would too if I wasn’t in my boat. I think I had to go through the backlash, because when you read it you realize that there’s some truth to it.”
When confronted by Norris about her white privilege, Giannulli said that was part of the reason she wanted to visit the show.
“I didn’t come on here to try and win people over,” she said. “I just want to apologize for contributing to these social inequalities, even though I didn’t realize it at the time, being able to come here and recognize that I am aware.”
On Her Infamous “I Don’t Really Care About School” Video
“The fact that you could even say those things shows how fortunate you were,” she said of herself.
“That sits with me and makes me cringe and it’s embarrassing that I ever said those types of things — and not only said them, but edited it, uploaded it, and then saw the response to realize it was wrong.”
On Her Parents’ Perspective
“My parents came from a place of ‘I love my kids, I just want to help my kids. I worked my whole life to provide for my family … ’ I think they thought it was normal,” Olivia Jade said.
“Neither of them went to college, so I think it was important for them, like, ‘We didn’t get to have that — I want to give it to you.’ But they wanted to give it to us a little too much.”
Though she was confused at first as to why her parents’ actions were wrong, she ultimately confronted them.
“They didn’t really have much to say except ‘I’m so sorry. I really messed up in trying to give the best to you and your sister.’”
“I know they’re good people and I’m not going to judge them for the mistake they made,” she said.
Watch the whole video here: