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

Cheryl Dill visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Talking jobs, tourism and business with Cheryl Dill in Parksville

Podcast: COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on Vancouver Island

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

Most Read