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

Maintenance work at lower City Centre Mall parking lot. (Clare Rayment/Kitimat Northern Sentinel)
Lower City Centre Mall entrance by No Frills closed

District doing maintenance work from 8 a.m. to early afternoon Wednesday (Jan. 27)

Collision at the Haisla/Kuldo Blvds. intersection Tuesday (Jan. 26). (Clare Rayment/Kitimat Northern Sentinel)
Collision at Haisla and Kuldo Boulevards

Five people taken to hospital with minor injuries

Angie Mindus photo
Clare’s Corner: A place for everything — and I mean everything

It’s amazing to see how much ‘stuff’ one can accumulate in their house over several months

(Jacqueline Sweet photo)
Jacqueline Sweet, right, at her graduation from the Bachelor of Arts at Simon Fraser University with her friend and fellow graduate, Laura Taylor.
In Our Valley: Jacqueline Sweet

Sweet said her career can feel isolating in the North, but she loves that she’s able to help people

(Cara Webb photo)
Cara Webb’s dog, Millie, who bolted during New Year’s Eve fireworks and was missing for almost a week. She was eventually found by Webb’s neighbour.
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read