The college admissions scandal: Who is Olivia Jade and where is she now?
Her actress mother, Lori Loughlin, was one of the most high-profile offenders in the scheme
This week, Netflix has released a documentary about the 2019 college admissions scandal. The case, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues”, saw over 50 people charged with their involvement – most of which were parents who paid bribes to get their children into elite colleges. One of the families involved is that of Olivia Jade Giannulli.
Her parents were two of the most high-profile offenders in the scandal, and she was a famous influencer herself, so it’s no surprise people are interested in her life and what happened to her afterwards. Actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli paid half a million dollars to Rick Singer, the brains behind the operation, in a bribe to get Olivia and her sister into university. Since then she was forced to drop out, lost thousands of followers and brand deals, and was “terrified” by trolls and the legal action she faced.
Here’s what we know about Olivia Jade Giannulli, and what she’s been up to since her family’s involvement in the college admissions scandal was revealed.
Ok so who actually is Olivia Jade Giannulli?
Olivia Jade Giannulli is the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. She is 21-years-old and from Los Angeles. Olivia has an older sister, Isabella, who was also caught up in the college admissions scandal.
During high school, she began a career as a YouTuber and influencer. She started a lifestyle YouTube channel and then got an Instagram account. She began creating videos which were like a diary of her day-to-day life, including makeup tutorials and talking about how much she hated school. A source close to her said: “Olivia always talks about her vlog. This is her passion. She never really understood why she needs to go to school.”
When she was coming up to the end of high school, Olivia Jade’s parents paid $500,000 to get her and her sister into the University of Southern California (USC). It was found they had Olivia Jade pose on a rowing machine and sent the pictures to William “Rick” Singer to get her accepted into college as a rower. This begs the question: Did she know what was going on? “Olivia fully knew what her parents did to get her into USC but didn’t think there was anything wrong with it,” an insider told Us Weekly. Olivia was also CC’d into emails between her parents and Singer.
In 2018, Olivia Jade started her freshman year at the uni, as a communications major. On the side, she partnered with Amazon Prime Student to do a dorm tour on her YouTube channel and did makeup tutorials sponsored by Sephora. She also did brand deals with huge companies such as Marc Jacobs and Estée Lauder and vlogs such as her “college night routine”, her college diet, and “college style”.
She had 1.3million Instagram followers and 1.94million YouTube subscribers.
Where is Olivia Jade now and what happened to her after the college admissions scandal?
Olivia Jade was on holiday in the Bahamas when news of the scandal broke. It was reported that Olivia Jade immediately dropped out of USC, but it was later confirmed she dropped out officially in March 2019 after a court hearing.
Olivia’s parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them in the scandal in April 2019, but both switched their pleas to guilty in May 2020. Lori was later sentenced to two months in prison, two years of supervised release, a $150,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. Mossimo was sentenced to five months in prison, two years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
In December 2020, Olivia gave an interview about the scandal. She said: “There was a lot that, when I was applying [to college], I was not fully aware of what was going on. I just felt so ashamed. I was like, I can’t go back [to school]. I never went back. I was too embarrassed. I shouldn’t have been there in the first place, clearly.”
After the scandal broke, it was reported Olivia Jade was being harassed on her social media channels. Teen Vogue reported comments such as “u cheated to get into college?!” and “how’s it feel to be a cheater?” were being put under all of her posts. A source said the scandal was “a nightmare” for her and her sister, and that they were “terrified” and “embarrassed” by it all.
In the weeks following the trial of her parents, Olivia Jade was dropped by a number of her brand sponsorships. Her Sephora collection was dropped, Amazon, Estée Lauder and TRESemmé cut ties with her and a clothing brand she had previously worked with said they would never do so again in the future.
Olivia Jade then went silent on all social media channels for a number of months. She returned to YouTube in December 2019 with a video titled: “Hi again”. In the video she told viewers she was unable to talk about the scandal, adding: “This is the best I can do and I want to move on with my life — not trying to be in a selfish way. It’s so hard because I’m not trying to make this about me or, like, how I’ve been because that’s not the point of this, although I’m terrified to make this video and to come back.”
Since then it looks like normal influencer life has resumed for Olivia Jade. She has 1.2million followers on Instagram (down from 1.3million before the scandal) and 1.86million subscribers on YouTube (down from just under two million before the scandal). No doubt, these figures will rise given her appearance in the Netflix documentary.
Just this week she posted a moving vlog on YouTube of her moving into a new apartment and giving viewers a full tour.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.