If you had told me two years ago that I would be eagerly awaiting an episode of a show on Facebook Watch, I would not have believed you. But Jada Pinkett Smith and the Red Table Talk crew have done it once again, announcing earlier this week that Olivia Jade Giannuli, the celeb daughter-turned-influencer who gained notoriety after her parents bought her way into USC, would be coming to the Red Table. This might be the most exciting episode since the infamous Jordyn Woods interview, and obviously, I had to watch right away.
A little background, in case you’re somehow not already obsessed with Olivia Jade. When the college admissions scandal was uncovered in the spring of 2019, one of the highest-profile people involved was Full House star Lori Loughlin. She and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannuli, paid half a million dollars to get their daughters into USC by pretending that the girls were being recruited to the school’s rowing team. After ultimately pleading guilty earlier this year, Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison, and Mossimo was sentenced to five months. Both are currently serving their sentences, which apparently makes this the perfect time for Olivia Jade to break her silence. Here are the highlights of what we learned from Olivia Jade’s appearance on Red Table Talk.
Adrienne Really Didn’t Want Her There
Before Olivia came to the table, the episode opened with a discussion between Jada, her daughter Willow, and her mother Adrienne. Adrienne shared that she was not in favor of bringing Olivia Jade on the show, saying that she “found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story.” She added that Olivia coming on the show was “the epitome of white privilege,” and argued that Olivia would “recover whether her ass was sitting at this table or not.”
During the interview, Olivia seemed to have a good understanding of her privilege, and was clear that she doesn’t expect sympathy from anyone. Adrienne wasn’t afraid to give her a hard time, saying that with all the privilege Olivia has had throughout her life, “it’s very difficult for me to feel compassionate about you.” To her credit, Olivia took the criticism in stride, saying “I didn’t come on here to win people over,” and that she just wants to apologize and tell people she’s aware that what she did wrong.
She Didn’t Know Everything That Was Happening During The Application Process
Unfortunately, they didn’t dive too deep into the particulars of what went down during the application process. Personally, I wanted a detailed explanation of how those rowing machine photos came to be, but alas, I didn’t write the questions. Olivia did, however, say that she wasn’t fully aware of what was happening during the application process, and that she thought her parents were just making a donation like all her other rich friends. She did address specifics of her application, saying that she didn’t write some of the things that were made public. Basically, she said she wrote an essay about her YouTube channel, and then someone else swapped it out for some bullsh*t about rowing.
She also said that when the scandal initially became public, she still didn’t really get what happened. When asked if she was immediately angry with her parents, she said, “to be honest, I wasn’t angry, because I didn’t have a good understanding of what happened.” She also said that she never went back to USC because she was embarrassed, and that she knew she “shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”
Olivia Hasn’t Talked To Her Parents In Prison
Both Lori and Mossimo have been in prison for several weeks now, and at the time of filming this interview, Olivia still hadn’t spoken to either of them. She said something about there being a quarantine period, and there’s no in-person visiting due to COVID, but I’m not sure how that affects phone calls. Olivia didn’t seem to know either, saying that she’s basically just waiting to hear from either of them whenever they’re allowed to call.
It Seems Like She’s Learned A Lot
I’m not trying to give too much credit to Olivia Jade, but overall, she came across well in the interview. She was never defensive, she seemed more interested in listening than speaking, and she openly admitted that what happened was wrong, and she’s embarrassed she didn’t realize it at the time. She also addressed her silence in the aftermath of the scandal, saying that for a long time, she wasn’t allowed to say anything because of the legal situation. She insisted she’s “not this bratty girl that doesn’t want to change anything,” and brought up some of the volunteer work she’s been doing. Basically, her media training worked, and even Adrienne seemed impressed by the end of the interview. At the end of the day, she’s still a rich girl who did some problematic sh*t, but at least it seems like she’s trying to learn.
It’s Unclear What’s Next
Over the year and a half since her fall from grace, Olivia Jade has mostly kept a low profile, taking lengthy breaks from Instagram, and only uploading two videos to her YouTube channel. In her interview, she didn’t make any big announcement about what she’s planning to do in the future, but she did hint at a return to YouTube. She spoke about how her past videos were all focused on her world, and said that when she goes back, she wants to show that there are bigger problems in the world outside her bubble. Unclear exactly what that means, but I think it’s safe to say she’s not just going to disappear forever.
Obviously, Olivia Jade is going to be fine no matter what, and she doesn’t really need our thoughts and prayers to make it through any of this. But her Red Table Talk interview was an encouraging sign that she has been able to take a step back and learn about how the world actually works, and how she was able to get opportunities and treatment that most people would never have access to.
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Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com
UPDATE: A week ago, everyone was side-eyeing Jada Pinkett Smith for her use of the word “entanglement” to describe her relationship with August Alsina, but it turns out August kind of likes it. In an interview with Vulture published on Friday, he said the definition of an entanglement “is a complex and difficult relationship,” and his relationship with Jada was “exactly that.” While Jada and August’s accounts differ on some specific points (mainly whether Will gave August his blessing), it seems like they’re mostly in agreement about the relationship itself.
Over the weekend, August further
milked addressed the situation by dropping a new song called, you guessed it, “Entanglements.” Thirsty? Perhaps, but I respect the hustle. The song, which features Rick Ross, is obviously about Jada, but it’s really not a diss track at all. In the chorus, August sings “The definition of entanglement, it’s when you’re tangled in the sheets. Girl I know that we don’t call it a relationship, but you’re still f*cking with me.” So, uh, if there was any question about the physical nature of their ~entanglement~, consider it answered.
August does, however, give Jada a little bit of sh*t later in the song, singing “You left your man to f*ck with me, just to pay him back. Don’t you know that’s cold-hearted? Once you gone, no coming back.” This is especially interesting because August is implying that Jada left Will to get with him. In the Red Table episode, they said they were separated, and then made it sound like the August ~entanglement~ started at some later date. Really, I would love for Jada to map this all out on a calendar so we can all be on the same page. Maybe that will be on a follow-up Red Table Talk.
Overall, it seems like August Alsina still has love for Jada Pinkett Smith, but perhaps the particulars of their situation aren’t as clear-cut as Jada and Will want us to think. Like I said before, I’m just waiting for the day that August Alsina comes to the Red Table, because I still feel like that’s a real possibility. Maybe August can even do a live performance of his new song, and then Jada can give her feedback. Please, it’s what we deserve in 2020.
Original Article: As we move into month four (five?) of quaran-times, the celebrity breakups and divorces have kept rolling in. Over the weekend, both Armie Hammer and Darius Rucker joined the 2020 divorce club, and Rachel Bilson and Bill Hader split six months after taking their relationship public. But while all of these couples are breaking up in real time, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are just now clearing up their relationship drama from years ago. Somehow, in our darkest times, the Red Table always shows up to rescue us from despair.
Will and Jada are one of Hollywood’s most iconic power couples, but in recent years, there have been frequent rumors about separation and divorce, and whether they have an open marriage. Will has appeared multiple times on Jada’s Red Table Talk show, and while they’ve openly discussed certain issues in their relationship, they always avoided responding to any specific rumors. But at the end of last month, the rumors exploded when singer August Alsina spoke publicly about his relationship with Jada Pinkett Smith.
In an interview with The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee, Alsina detailed their “relationship,” saying that he became close with Jada and the whole family after Jaden introduced them in 2015. He and Jada grew closer, and eventually, he claims he “actually sat down with Will and had a conversation due to the transformation from their marriage to life partnership… he gave me his blessing.”
According to August, the relationship was quite serious. He said, “I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really deeply love and have a ton of love for her. I devoted myself to it, I gave my full self to it—so much so to the point that I can die right now and be okay with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody.” He acknowledged that the arrangement might be “hard for people to understand,” but felt that he needed to “speak up about my truth” after rumors began to affect his career.
August Alsina’s revelation about his relationship with the Smith family was pretty much in line with what many people had suspected for a long time, but Jada quickly denied his story. A representative for Pinkett Smith called Alsina’s claims “absolutely not true,” but it quickly became clear that Jada had more to say on the matter. A few days after Alsina’s interview, Jada tweeted that she was bringing herself to the Red Table, saying “there’s some healing that needs to happen.” As a proud messy bitch who lives for drama, this tweet did more for my serotonin levels than anything else that’s happened in 2020.
There’s some healing that needs to happen…so I’m bringing myself to The Red Table.
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) July 2, 2020
Jada kept her promise, and on Friday afternoon, released a Red Table Talk episode addressing the rumors. In the brief episode, which broke the Facebook Watch record for views in the first 24 hours, she and Will finally cleared the air. To begin with, they admitted what so many had guessed: they were separated at one point. Jada said that, around four-and-a-half years ago, she became close with August, at a time when he was very sick and needed help (Alsina suffers from an autoimmune disease). Will and Jada clarified that around this time, they “broke up,” and Will added that he was “done with yo’ ass.”
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Jada says that it was during this “indefinite” separation that she “got into a different kind of entanglement with August.” Jada repeatedly used this word “entanglement,” which in turn provided prime material for approximately one million memes over the weekend. This just isn’t a word that real people actually use, and Will eventually called her on this, telling her, “you need to say clearly what happened.” After she doubled down on “entanglement,” Will corrected her, saying “a relationship.” LOL, this isn’t awkward at all.
Jada also clarified August’s claim that he received Will’s permission to enter into the ~entanglement~, saying that the she is the only person who can give permission for herself. However, she said that she understood August’s perception of this, noting that she and Will were “separated amicably,” and that August is not a “homewrecker.”
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Eventually, Jada and Will began to come back together and work through their issues, and Jada said that August decided to “break all communication” with her at this time. She said this was “totally understandable,” and that she and August haven’t spoken since. So according to her, the relationship only began after she and Will were separated, and ended before they were officially back together. We don’t have any exact dates to work with here, but the Smiths are sticking to their story that they’ve never had an open marriage of any kind.
Whether you believe that Jada is telling the whole truth or not, at least she’s not just calling August Alsina a liar anymore. It’s clear that there’s a lot of history here, but it seems like in general, everyone in this situation still has love for each other. Maybe Jada isn’t thrilled that all of this became public the way it did, but it’s hard to believe this wasn’t going to make it to the Red Table at some point. Now the only thing left to figure out is when August Alsina will make his inevitable Red Table debut. You know it’s coming.
Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com; August Alsina / YouTube; jadapsmith / Twitter; betches, uuppod / Instagram