Olivia Jade Breaks Her Silence


Lori Loughlin, right, with daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli at a charity gala on Feb. 27, 2018. News of the scandal broke in March of 2019, and both her parents served prison time.

Emily Prince, Design editor

In March of 2019, a scandal arose quickly as the world found out about Olivia Jade’s parents paying $500,000 to get Jade and her sister into university. The news caught fire and the media was quick to cancel Jade, starting with her YouTube channel. Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were jailed, and Jade was left to deal with the aftermath that tarnished her reputation. What angered most people was Jade’s attitude towards the whole situation and the obvious privilege she had been given since birth. 


After a year of silence,Jade reached out to Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, who are all hosts of the show Red Table Talk, which discusses hot topics celebrities have not yet publicly addressed. Before I get into the specifics of what the interview consisted of, I want to talk about a few things Jade has been criticized for in the media. Some people believe that Jade was involved in the scandal and knew of the risk while applying to college. Her attitude towards college made her seem like college was not much of a priority, because she spoke numerous times in her YouTube videos of the parties she attended. After the news broke out, her silence on the whole matter was not taken lightly; some took the silence as guiltiness, and it only fed into her white privilege and bratty reputation.  Almost no one had sympathy for her or her family. She went from being America’s favorite celebrity daughter to critzted and hated by anyone who had an opinion. 


Although both her parents served jail time for the incident, Jade did not go down for her parents’ mistakes. She did, however, lose brand deals, endorsements, followers and friends. In the grand scheme of things this was not a big deal, but for Jade, she admitted this was difficult and took her time to realize the severity of her situation. When it was announced that Jade would be featured on Red Table, many people took this as her way of trying to fix her image. Especially since she would be talking to three well-established black women, the interview could have gone badly if Olivia Jade chose to play the victim. But Jade surprised a lot of people by first offering up her apologies. 


“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,’” Jade said. 


Jade acknowledged a lot of things, including the bad attitude she portrayed, the privilege she had been so blind of and also any hurt she may have caused those when she took a spot at USC. She even admitted verbally in front of an audience how she did not see at first what was so wrong with her parents paying her way into a good college. I think that is the most eye-opening thing within the entire interview: the fact that she was able to admit to and express the way she was thinking, even though she knows it can be criticized. She acknowledged that her thought process on the entire situation was wrong, and even expressed how it changed her outlook on life. 


“A huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege. And so when it was happening it didn’t feel wrong,” Jade said. 


The entire scheme her parents had endorsed ruined their lives and completely tarnished their reputations. I do not believe Olivia Jade should have that same punishment, nor do I think it should be permanent. Jade suffered the consequences and ultimately, she learned something positive despite being involved in such a negative situation. People always deserve second chances as long as they realize the mistakes, and for Jade, she has. 


“But I think what is so important to me is to learn from the mistake, not to be ashamed and punished, and never given a second chance. Because I am twenty-one, I feel like I deserve a second chance to redeem myself,” Jade said.