Guys, it’s the end of an era. Over a year ago, Operation Varsity Blues, a college admissions scam implicating Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, their daughter Olivia Jade, Felicity Huffman, and about 50 others, broke. Well, a lot has happened since then. Felicity Huffman was sentenced to and served her 14-day sentence. Other parents were ordered to pay hefty fines. But the lone holdout in all this was Lori Loughlin, who seemed determined to assert her innocence at all costs. But that evidently didn’t last, because on Thursday, news broke that Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli had agreed to take a plea deal. Alexa, play “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men.
The US Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts said Loughlin and Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges. As part of the agreement, Loughlin will be sentenced to two months in prison and Giannulli will be sentenced to five months, subject to the court’s approval.
Giannulli and Loughlin were accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC, a scheme that involved bribery and fake rowing pictures. But the plea deal comes as a bit of a surprise, considering as recently as two weeks ago, Loughlin was clinging to her innocence more tightly than I’m clinging to the foolish hope of having any semblance of a summer this year. In January 2020, they asserted they “did NOT bribe the former Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel,” according to TMZ, reasoning that though they paid $500,000, it could not have been a bribe because they made the check out to USC. They also argued, “USC invites donations like the ones Lori and Mossimo made to the school” as an “institutionalized form of admission for a price, and in no way, shape or form bribery.” They also planned to argue that they never submitted fake rowing photos of Olivia and Isabella to get them on the USC crew team, though they definitely did take the photos.
Basically, their whole plan was to put all the blame for bribery on Rick Singer, the ringleader of the whole scheme, and claim they were simply making a hefty donation to USC, not a bribe. Sure, like when I drink three glasses of wine, I’m not binge drinking, I’m wine tasting.
Two weeks ago, a judge denied a motion to dismiss the charges against Loughlin and Giannulli, which alleged that the government had botched the investigation and failed to turn over certain evidence in a timely fashion. But now, she’s taking the deal, and with it, some nominal prison sentence that she probably won’t even serve half of. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to see her dressed-up “affluenza” plea play out in trial. But I can’t wait for the movie adaptation of this whole scheme!
Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
You guys. It’s happening. I thought this day might never come, but Olivia Jade Giannuli has officially returned to Instagram. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Olivia Jade is Lori Loughlin’s daughter, and she was one of the biggest players in the infamous college admissions scandal that broke earlier this year. After Olivia Jade’s time on the USC rowing team was exposed as a total scam, she went totally dark on social media. Her YouTube channel has been dormant for months, and before today, her last Instagram post was in February.
I didn’t care much about Olivia Jade before the scandal broke out, but it’s fair to say that her whereabouts have become sort of an obsession for me in the last few months. There have been some paparazzi photos of her, and last week many people texted me about a reported sighting in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Random, but I’ll take what I can get.
But now, the wait is over, because Olivia Jade posted on Instagram today for her mom’s birthday. This seems like a pretty normal reason to post on Instagram, but I have a theory that the layers here go deeper than it appears. Come with me as I dive down the rabbit hole of what (I think) is going on behind the scenes of Olivia Jade’s return to Instagram.
First, let’s all get on the same page about Lori Loughlin’s birthday. Her birthday was Sunday, July 28th. In other words, it was yesterday, if you’re reading this on Monday. Obviously, Olivia Jade said in her caption that her post was a day late, so she knows when her mom’s birthday is. Bella, Lori’s other daughter, posted for her mom’s birthday 11 hours ago as I’m writing this, which would translate to about 8pm California time. Not super early in the day, but an acceptably on-time birthday post.
Olivia Jade then commented on the post five hours ago right now, which would be like, 1am in California. Weird that she was so behind on this, but we know that she saw the post at least five hours ago. Which means that, even if she forgot about her mom’s birthday, she would’ve been reminded five hours ago when she saw Bella’s post. But then she waited four more hours to post her own photo, making it officially one day late. She also posted before 7am California time, so all of this is making me think that she just doesn’t sleep. (Same, girl.)
Now that we’ve got the timeline down, we need to talk about a piece of information that’s crucial to my theory. Recently, all of the anonymous sources with mysterious knowledge of the situation have been saying that Olivia Jade and Lori Loughlin are not on good terms. According to the reports, Olivia was reportedly furious with her mom over the admissions scam, because she didn’t even want to go to college in the first place. She had a booming career as a vlogger and makeup guru (I hate 2019), and her involvement in the scam totally tanked those opportunities. If I was in Olivia Jade’s position, I’d probably be mad too.
These reports are the reason I’m thinking deeper about Olivia Jade’s post. If I had to guess, she saw Bella’s post, and wasn’t going to post anything herself at first. But then, four hours later, she realized that not posting was just making people talk more about the reported rift between her and her mom. Even if she hates her mom, she probably doesn’t want the entire world to know, so she posted a photo (a day late) to hush the rumors. Of course, she could’ve just forgotten to post yesterday, but deciding to post on Instagram after staying silent for so long feels to me like a calculated decision.
In terms of Olivia Jade’s future as an influencer/blogger/whatever, it’s probably a good move for her to start working her way back onto social media. Before the scam was exposed, she had a huge, loyal following, but that’s basically been squandered in the last six months. If she wants to work with brands again in the future, she has to start making content again at some point. She’s still so young that I feel like she can bounce back if she plays her cards right.
Interestingly, a brand new People report says that Lori Loughlin had a small birthday celebration on Sunday after going to church, and that both Bella and Olivia Jade were in attendance. Maybe they’re working on making their relationship better, but then it seems even stranger to me that Olivia would wait to post until this morning.
I would say that I’ll be monitoring Olivia Jade’s Instagram closely in the next few days, but I’ve already been doing that since February. I’m an Olivia Jade truther, that’s just what my life is about now.
Images: oliviajade, bella / Instagram
It’s been weeks since news of the celebrity college admissions scandal broke, and it’s still one of the biggest stories in the news. While I’m not surprised that any of this stuff was happening behind closed doors, the scandal has still been shocking for different reasons. First of all, I never thought I would be this invested in the life of a teenage YouTuber. I hate to admit it, but I care deeply about what’s going on with Olivia Jade. In the past couple of weeks, there have been dozens of stories and rumors going around about Olivia and her family, and it’s tough to keep track of what’s going on. Let’s do our best to run through the most important Olivia Jade stories that have been going around.
First off, Olivia allegedly isn’t talking to her parents, and is staying with her model boyfriend, Jackson Guthry. Olivia’s friends are apparently urging her to reconnect with her parents, because they maintain that Aunt Becky and Mossimo were just trying to do what’s best for her. I feel like if her parents really wanted to do what’s best for her, they made a few small mistakes. Like, maybe they should’ve let her develop a work ethic on her own, and also maybe they shouldn’t have committed felonies that would end up humiliating her publicly and ruining her career. But then again, her mom does duck face in pictures, so maybe she went to the Regina George’s Mom School of Parenting, and just didn’t know any better. She probably paid half a million dollars to get in there, too.
Olivia’s own friends might be the only ones who are supporting Olivia’s parents, because her parents’ friends are reportedly distancing themselves because they’re “so disgusted.” Um, I’m sorry, but buying your kids a college degree is far from the biggest scandal in Hollywood. I wonder if all these rich people were as quick to react when their friends got #MeToo’d. But Danny Tanner is standing by their side, and I’m sure Uncle Joey is too. I bet they think the whole thing is despicable, but based off Full House, they’ll take whatever they can get in terms of friends. John Stamos has yet to make an official statement, and the Olsen twins probably don’t remember who Lori Loughlin is.
It’s reported that Olivia feels like she’s a victim in the situation. Look, the way society works these days is that every week, we find a new witch to burn at the stake for the sake of entertainment, and to feel better about ourselves. Right now, Olivia and her parents are said witches. I’m sure a lot of people would disagree that she’s a victim, but she didn’t even want to go to college in the first place—her parents actually made her do it. She wanted to focus on her beauty brand, and is now losing deals left and right. Love her or hate her, she actually worked to build her brand, and now she’s watching it crumble. If she really didn’t know what her parents were doing, I actually sort of buy that she’s a victim here.
Olivia and her sister have also reportedly dropped out of USC because of “bullying.” I totally buy this, because I would probably do the same thing if I was in their situation. USC said they were resolving whether or not the students involved in the scam should stay or go on a “case-by-case” basis, but they are claiming these girls haven’t dropped out…? Wait, what? So my guess is that Olivia Jade and Bella leaving is more of a “You can’t fire me because I quit!!” scenario to save face.
The media is also doing whatever they can to unearth past info on Olivia and Bella (oh, that’s her sister we keep forgetting about, BTW!). Bella apparently was on the lower spectrum of the average expectations for students admitted to USC but there’s no word on Olivia’s grades. However, this rando YouTuber said she went to the same school as Olivia Jade for ONE WHOLE WEEK, and while they never spoke at all, she’s pretty sure Olivia didn’t do that well if she was off making videos and mingling at NYFW instead of doing six hours of homework every night. Okay, chill. There’s no way you were actually doing six hours of homework every night in high school. Let me just say again that this chick never even spoke to Olivia Jade. Does breathing the same air as a celeb mean that you’re an accurate resource for their personal life? If so, stay tuned for my upcoming YouTube video where I talk about whether or not Kylie will be friends with Jordyn again, because one time my cashier at Urban Outfitters modeled with them for Yeezy, so I apparently have the authority to talk about it.
Ok it’s been 2 weeks where is Olivia Jade’s apology video
— CJ (@chaneljanssen) March 24, 2019
So we don’t really know about Olivia’s high school accomplishments, but she did say on a radio show that she loves when teenagers DM her for advice on applying to college. First off, young, impressionable, innocent girls, here’s your college admissions life hack: TALK TO YOUR COLLEGE COUNSELORS, NOT A YOUTUBER MAJORING IN COMMUNICATIONS. While this is distressing, I’m more surprised that Olivia actually reads those DMs. I thought they’d be lost amongst requests from guys who live in their moms’ basements berating her looks or asking for feet pics, but I guess she actually sees (and reads?!) those DMs from her fans. I can barely bring myself to respond to people from my college or randoms messaging me on LinkedIn trying to ~network~. Either she’s a really good samaritan who would deign to give BS college advice (which I doubt) or she doesn’t even engage with said DMs but is trying to make herself look relatable and wholesome by saying she’s DMing these fans.
Since the scandal broke, Olivia and Bella have been lying low—no social media posts, no paparazzi shots, nada. Bella’s profile is on private, and sources close to Olivia Jade claim she says that she’s also “staying off social media.” And by “staying off social media,” I mean she’s probably only posting Instagram stories using the close friends feature. THE STRUGGLE. My shrink always says to me, “Instagram isn’t reality, it’s just a highlight reel.” But what could Olivia possibly be highlighting right now? She won’t even go out in public. However, her boyfriend’s Instagram comments section is lit with zingers like “How much did Olivia Jade pay you to get in her?” Maybe be a good boyfriend and turn off the comments for Olivia’s sake, dude.
Sources are also claiming that Olivia Jade’s application for a trademark request got rejected because it had poor punctuation. Um, okay. I believe Olivia filled out that trademark request herself as much as I believe she filled out her own college applications (she didn’t). She’s said before that she has an assistant (again, WHY do you need college?), so I’m sure someone else filled out the thing.
Live look at Olivia Jade filling out legal paperwork:
The rejection also said the request was too vague about what beauty products she wanted to hawk. They wanted her to be more specific than just saying “concealer” and “lip kits.” As someone who uses her fingers to apply makeup, I don’t see how much more specific you can get, but YouTube beauty gurus are in a league of their own. I’ve seen these makeup tutorial videos. They’re so complex, and involve such finesse that I’m pretty sure these influencers could have been asked to paint the Sistine Chapel if they were alive back then. Meanwhile, I’m wearing mascara from CVS and haven’t bought foundation in like, a year.
Okay, glad we’re finally all caught up on Olivia Jade. I definitely deserve an edible and a nap after writing an essay that involved more research than Olivia Jade ever did during her time at USC. I’m still impatiently waiting for her or someone from her family to make a public statement, but until then, rumors and TMZ reports will have to do.
Images: @enews / Instagram; @chaneljanssen / Twitter; Giphy (2)
I’m a person who’s followed celebrity news since I was a kid (like, I had subscriptions to Us Weekly and PEOPLE in fourth grade), and even I did not anticipate the celebrity college admissions scandal blowing up like it has. When the news first broke, I was like, “Perfect. Now that Aunt Becky is relevant again, I can segue more easily into the story about how two women at Friendly’s said I was a dead ringer for her when I was 16.” Also, if we’re being honest, I would drop $500,000 just to not have to endure the embarrassment of having a child who unabashedly calls themselves a “YouTuber” and “influencer.” But beyond that, I was pretty unfazed about the news, because where I grew up, people have been fleecing the college system for years.
Full disclosure: I come from a WASP-y family. I was raised to not take that identity seriously, but to actually find humor in it. That led me to writing satire for a society website called Guest of a Guest, where I make fun of the culture and the people who try so hard to swindle their way into it all the time. I even make fun of myself for falling prey to it: I actually made the GofG list of “Most Pretentiously Named Socialites,” my dog is literally related to the Kennedy’s dog (plus I had relatives that worked for that administration), and I attended a boarding school at which my family boasted a really long legacy (although I only lasted a year). But thank god my family encouraged me to form my own identity, because otherwise, that would’ve made me the biggest douchebag. (I’m still a douchebag because I make snarky remarks about celebs for a living and literally highjacked an article about this scandal to talk about how someone once said I look like Aunt Becky, but at least I’m not wearing a cashmere sweater draped around my shoulders while doing it.) My parents and grandparents would be disappointed if I was too lenient on the WASP identity because it’s tacky and lame to go into superfluous details about that lifestyle, but for the sake of illustrating how common it really is to game the college admissions system, I’m willing to risk sounding gauche, because it does need to be aired out.
First off, I’m proud of the family I come from, because while we were all given a great education, my grandfather taught us humility and the importance of a good work ethic. For the record, my family never once tried to buy their way into schools they didn’t deserve a spot at, and I am grateful they didn’t. Having access to great education and other perks is wonderful, but my parents really wanted to instill in me that there’s so much more to life than going to a name-brand undergrad program straight out of high school.
But I grew up surrounded by and summering with a lot of ritzy prep school kids who didn’t share the same beliefs (even the fact that I use the word “summer” as a verb is a huge tell). So I guess that makes me a ritzy prep school kid as well. I took a gap year after high school and did a program abroad, and the very first day of my program, I talked to a girl who went to an elite New Hampshire boarding school (I’ll let you figure out which one), and she made it very known that she was attending Harvard in the fall. We took classes at a tutorial college and she would skip class and refuse to do homework because, “I’m going to f*cking Harvard.” Ok, Elle Woods.
But some things she said would make me seriously side-eye. This chick was all too open about how lavish her family’s lifestyle was and how liberal her dad was with his AmEx (only later on, he got tried for embezzlement). Ok, whatever. But one big piece of info she kept quiet about? Her grandfather was the president of a foreign country. Yeah. So I had to wonder if she got into Harvard solely on her own merit.
did any one else just assume that celebrities paid to get their kids into college and are shocked that it’s actually illegal
— jaboukie (@jaboukie) March 12, 2019
This is not just me being salty—Harvard literally admitted that they let in wealthier people in hopes of getting more money from them, as if they need it. I even recall asking my parents how the hell our neighbors got all three of their kids into Harvard. Sure, they went to a really great New York prep school, but they also let the Harvard squash coach stay in their guest house for the summer.
I have tons of anecdotes like these, but I’ll save the rest for my book. When I was having dinner with my parents after this whole story broke, I went into the conversation thinking it was funny as f*ck that these people were finally getting called out so publicly, while my parents were disgusted. Huh?
I brought up the story about my neighbors, and my mom said, “That’s different. Those kids are smart.” Is it different, though? It’s just using your privilege, wealth, and access to get what you want. Maybe overt wire fraud isn’t involved, but your hands are not entirely clean.
Now that the Hollywood Bribery Ring has been busted, the only thing helping rich kids get into college are legacy admissions, private tutors, board member connections, unpaid summer internships, interview coaches, and a lifetime of Ivy-bound grooming!!!
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) March 12, 2019
What’s even funnier to me is that my parents were outraged by Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman paying someone to falsify their kids’ SAT scores. I don’t see the big difference between that and donating a building, or giving free lodging to somebody who works at the school. And whether you’re committing blatant fraud, or just throwing money to get your kid into a school you’re not confident they could be accepted to on merit alone, you’re doing a disservice to your child. Like, I know a girl whose dad is a higher-up in finance, and he secured her a job where he works, along with an elite education. When it came time to take the CFAs, she couldn’t pass the test, even after her third time. So she wasted her time and energy (and Daddy wasted his money) on a career she wasn’t cut out for, and she had to endure the humiliation of being fired from a company at which her father is a huge mover and shaker. I’m confident she’s not the only story like that. I mean, Olivia Jade barely went to class at USC after her mom spent hundreds of thousands (and risked prison time) to scam her way in! Do you think she was really going to graduate with honors and a set career path in anything but makeup videos? No. An elite education, a trust fund, and two brain cells to rub together can’t ultimately guarantee you success.
Job interviewer: Tell me about your time at USC
Olivia Jade: pic.twitter.com/qzDMWsyVxK
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) March 15, 2019
But ultimately, what I think should be on trial here is the antiquated education system that American society shoves down our throats. This stifling structure should be questioned because only a small percentage of kids actually thrive in that environment, and it’s sad that parents are wasting money to force their way in. It’s a detriment to their kids’ personal growth, and pretty much everyone’s personal growth, that we all think graduating college by 22 and adhering to a suffocating system like that is the only way to be successful in life. The VP of Google (F*CKING GOOGLE) even said that having a high GPA or going to an elite school has never been an accurate litmus test of whether or not you’d be a promising employee there (yet they funnel in Ivy League grads with 4.0’s so…what the hell?). But until we realize that it really does not f*cking matter where you go to undergrad, wealthy, connected people will continue to finesse their wealth and connections to get what they want—just like they do in every other facet of society.
Images: jaboukie, bessbell, betchesluvthis / Twitter
It’s been a pretty crazy week. We lost a whole day to the Instagram Blackout of 2019, and there’s been way too much Bachelor/Bachelorette news to keep up with. Despite all of this, the week’s biggest story has definitely been the college admissions scandal. Earlier this week, more than four dozen people were indicted for fraudulent practices, mostly involving falsifying test scores. At the center of the investigation is William Rick Singer, a businessman who facilitated all of the crimes that went down. Now, it’s officially the biggest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted in the US. When the story first broke, we were all focused on the celebrity angle, with beloved TV stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin both being indicted. After that, we turned our attention to how all of this actually went down.
It’s no big surprise that the college admissions system is corrupt, but seeing concrete examples of how rich people cheated the system still stings a little bit. When I wasn’t happy with my ACT score, my mom just bought me a practice book that I pretended to use like a normal teen. Also, I mean, I already assumed rich people were bribing their way into colleges, but I always thought it was slightly more subtle, like by sponsoring buildings, not buying a fake SAT score. I wish I’d known that was an option this entire time! Oh well.
At the center of this whole mess is Lori Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade. You’ve probably seen her face and heard her name a lot in the last few days, but if you’re like me and you’re blissfully unaware of teen influencers, you probably don’t really know anything about her and have probably been asking yourself, “who is Olivia Jade?” but been too ashamed to Google it. I’m about to change that, so you’re welcome!!
First and foremost, Olivia Jade is a freshman at the University of Southern California. As we all know, she worked hard to earn her spot on the crew team, and she’s on track to be the team MVP this season. Just kidding! Her parents paid a quarter of a million dollars to have her falsely designated as a crew team recruit, allowing her to basically be automatically accepted to USC. She definitely hasn’t gone to a single practice, but to be fair, I wouldn’t want to wake up at 5am to go rowing either.
This clip from one of her YouTube videos last year has gone viral (for obvious reasons) in the wake of this week’s news:
Olivia Jade said that she only wanted to go to college to party and go to football games… are we really shocked that her mom was involved in a bribery to get her admitted to USC??? pic.twitter.com/8t3qdZUzIP
— Mal (@bbmalxo) March 12, 2019
That’s a major yikes. I mean, I went to college for the game days and the parties too, but I also needed to get a degree so I could, like, get a job and make money for the rest of my life. So obviously Olivia Jade wasn’t there for the right reasons, but what did she actually mean when she talked about trying to “balance it all”? Her career as a YouTuber and influencer, of course!
Olivia Jade started her YouTube channel back in 2014, and she now has nearly two million subscribers. Her videos are mostly about beauty and fashion, and I won’t pretend that she’s not one of the most stunning 18-year-olds I’ve ever seen. Pretty sure I was a sweaty disaster at her age, but I’m not mad about it. Because of who her mom is, Olivia has always had a lot of opportunities, but last year she really upped her brand game with her very own Sephora collaboration. The first product in the collection was a highlight palette, because there definitely aren’t enough of those in the world.
Obviously Olivia Jade and her family are in some legal hot water right now, but that’s not the only problem. Yesterday, Sephora responded to concerned customers on Twitter, and announced that they’re ending their partnership with Olivia Jade immediately. Sucks for her, but at least she’ll have her college education to fall back on!
Hi there, After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately.
— Sephora (@Sephora) March 14, 2019
Meanwhile, on the Sephora website, people have been leaving totally savage reviews on her product page. There are lots to choose from, but this is my personal favorite. I’ve really been looking for the perfect highlight to skip class, so I’m glad I found it.
Olivia Jade still hasn’t made any kind of statement about the scandal on her social media accounts, but I can’t wait to see her string together a sentence about the legal system. In the mean time, Twitter has been absolutely on fire with memes about Olivia, and I fully can’t keep it together in the office right now:
olivia jade failing her SATs but then hearing her mom bribe the teacher pic.twitter.com/GsWmi4kk7r
— molly (@dyonvi) March 12, 2019
I’m always down for a Britney Spears meme, any time, anywhere. People are also joking about the potential legal trouble Olivia Jade could be facing, even though it seems like her parents are the ones paying the price:
olivia jade clearing out her dorm room at usc pic.twitter.com/FLC8ZgH7kw
— rosie (@bethecowboys) March 12, 2019
As for Olivia’s USC education, the latest reports are that she and her older sister Bella won’t be going back to school after spring break because they would be “viciously bullied.” That’s probably true, but it’s also unclear whether they’ll even be allowed to go back. USC has said that they’ll be making decisions on a case-by-case basis, and no decisions have been made yet. I really hope Olivia Jade’s USC hearing gets live-streamed, because I’m dying to know what will happen next.
Images: Shutterstock; @oliviajade / Instagram; @bbmalxo, @sephora, @dyonvi @bethecowboys/ Twitter; Sephora