Olivia Jade Giannulli, the youngest daughter of "Fuller House" star Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, is breaking her silence about the college bribery scandal that landed both her parents in prison.
"This has been a really eye-opening experience for me... and although there's a lot of negative around it, and a lot of mistakes and wrongdoing, it's led me to have a completely different outlook on a lot of situations," Olivia Jade Giannulli told host Jada Pinkett Smith during Tuesday's episode of Facebook Watch's "Red Table Talk."
The 21-year-old beauty influencer's conversation with Smith and co-hosts Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris comes as both her parents are behind bars after pleading guilty to federal charges for their involvement in the nationwide scandal.
The charges stem from the couple allegedly paying $500,000 to fraudulently get their two daughters admitted to the University of Southern California under the false pretense that they were athletes recruited to the crew team.
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"It's been hard. I think for anybody, no matter what the situation is, you don't want to see your parents go to prison," said Giannulli. "But also I think it's necessary for us to move on and to move forward."
Giannulli said "there is no justifying" her parents' actions.
"What happened was wrong. I think every single person in my family can be like, 'That was messed up. That was a big mistake,' she said.
"But I think what's so important to me is to learn from the mistake, not to now be shamed and punlished and never given a second chance," she added.
Giannulli said she's had no communication with her parents due to COVID-19 concerns at the prisons where they're serving their sentences.
"I'm super close with my parents, especially my mom. She's like my best friend. It's definitely been really hard not being able to talk to her," she said. "But I know she's strong. And I know it's a good reflection period. I'm trying to look at the positives in situations, you know?"
"She's in there right now. She gets to really rethink everything that happened, and kind of figure out when she comes out what she wants to do with what she's learned through all of this and I think that, hopefully, will be a blessing in the end," she added.
Loughlin and her husband were just two of the more than 50 affluent parents and educators who were arrested and accused of using fraudulent means to get their children into top universities. Former "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman also pleaded guilty for her role in the admissions scandal and served 14 days in the same prison Loughlin entered in October.
Giannulli said she "was not fully aware" of her parents' scheme when she was applying to USC. She discovered the full extent of their actions when news broke about the scandal.
"I remember just like freezing and feeling so ashamed. I went home and hid myself for probably like three or four months," she recalled.
The YouTube star also explained that she isn't seeking pity from fans.
"I'm not trying to victimize myself. I don't want pity. I don't deserve pity. We messed up," she said. "I just want a second chance to be like, 'I recognize I messed up.'"
Though the scandal cost Giannulli to lose brand deals with Sephora, TREsemme and other companies, she said the most damning consequence, for her, was realizing how "oblivious" she was about her family's race and class privilege.
"I feel like a huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege," she said. "So when it happened, it didn't feel wrong. It didn't feel like, 'That's not fair. A lot of people don't have that.'"
"I was in my own little bubble focusing about my comfortable world. I never had to look outside of that bubble," she added.
Now, she understands why others were outraged by her family's deceit.
"I understand why people are angry and I understand why people say hurtful things and I would too if I wasn't in my boat. But I think I had to go through the backlash and the stuff because when you read it, you realize that there's some truth in it," she said.
Giannulli's appearance on the show initially caused friction among its hosts.
"I just found it really ironic that she chose three black women to reach out to for her redemption story," Banfield-Norris said before Giannulli joined them at the table.
"Her being here is the epitome of white privilege," she added.
Pinkett Smith disagreed, explaining that listening to Olivia Jade's story was a "practice of compassion."
"To me, this young girl is reaping the repercussions of some actions of her parents."
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY.
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