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

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, updates British Columbians about COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this week. (B.C. Government image)
B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed a year ago today

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Boxing club owner Jesse Pineiro, Nelson’s 2021 sports ambassador, recommends the novel Hurry Home by Roz Nay, the new cultural ambassador, who has taken up boxing (at least for this photo). Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson bestows annual ambassadorships, awards

Residents recognized for achievements in arts, sports, heritage and sustainability

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

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

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

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

Most Read