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Was Olivia Jade Aware of the College Admissions Scandal All Along?

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Dec. 8 2020, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

Lori Loughlin's daughter, Olivia Jade, officially returned to YouTube in December of 2019, after a six-month hiatus related to her parents' implications in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. 

She said: "I actually really, really miss it. I genuinely miss filming, I feel like a huge part of me is not the same because this is something that I'm really passionate about and something I really like to do." 

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Though countless fans were hoping to hear her take on the whole bribery scandal, Olivia wasn't able to discuss it.

More than a year later, Olivia has finally broken her silence on what she knew about her parents' wrongdoings. The former beauty influencer appeared on the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and Willow Smith.

Did Olivia Jade know? Keep reading to find out what she had to say on the Dec. 8 episode of Red Table Talk.

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What actually happened during the scandal?

Just in case you need a refresher, Olivia's parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, were among several other parents who got arrested for unethically getting their kids into top schools. They all worked with William Rick Singer, a college admissions consultant who organized the entire scheme. 

But as for Olivia's parents, they went as far as paying over $500,000 to fabricate their daughters' athletic achievements. Both Olivia and her sister, Isabella Rose Giannulli, were made to look like recruits to the University of Southern California's crew team, even though they never played the sport.

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As a result, the famous couple was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. 

After initially pleading not guilty, Mossimo and Lori later decided to change their plea. In May of 2020, Lori pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was sentenced to two months in prison in August of 2020.

Mossimo also pled guilty, and he was sentenced to five months in prison.

Both Mossimo and Lori reported to prison in November 2020.

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What did Olivia Jade say on 'Red Table Talk'?

At the beginning of Red Table Talk, Jada, Willow, and Adrienne discussed their mixed emotions for taking on Olivia Jade's first post-admissions scandal interview. 

When Olivia came out to the table, she expressed how nervous she was to finally speak out.

"I think that this has been a really eye-opening experience for me and situation [sic]," she said. "Although there's a lot of negative [sic] around it and a lot of mistakes and wrongdoings, it's led me to have a completely different outlook on a lot of situations."

She said that she chose RTT because she didn't want to be "attacked" but, rather, "understood."

Olivia then said that she grasped that what her family did was wrong.

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"What hasn't been super public is that there is no justifying or excusing what happened. What happened was wrong, and I think that every single person in my family could be like, 'That was messed up. That was a big mistake.' 

"But I think what's so important to me is to learn from the mistake, not to now be shamed or punished and never be given a second chance," she continued, before adding that she "deserved" another opportunity. 

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Olivia later shared that she was volunteering at an after-school youth program, and she was living with her sister, Bella Giannulli.

She did not discuss if she had any plans to return to school in the future. 

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What did Olivia Jade know?

When the scandal first broke, Olivia stayed mum on what she knew. In May 2019, a source came forward and claimed that she actually knew about it all along. 

They said: "Olivia fully knew what her parents did to get her into USC but didn't think there was anything wrong with it. She didn't get into any other California schools."

And unfortunately for Olivia, the charging documents also seem to suggest that she was well aware.   

For instance, it mentions that William asked her parents to send him a photo of her in an ergometer so that it looked like she was a real athlete. Surely, if her parents went as far as setting up a photo shoot for this, it's likely that Olivia was at least vaguely aware that something was up.

When breaking her silence, Olivia did suggest that she was aware of some of what was going on.

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A few minutes in to her discussion with the ladies of RTT, Olivia hinted that she was unaware of the extent to which her parents had aided her admission to USC. 

"There was a lot that, when I was applying [to USC], I was not fully aware of what was going on," she said. "When I got home [from spring break in 2019], I was so ashamed.... I never went back; I was too embarrassed."

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"I shouldn't have been there in the first place, clearly, so there was no point in me trying to go back," Olivia continued.

She then commented on how her immense privilege played a role in what transpired. 

"I really felt most moved by the fact that we did all of this and were so ignorant. I feel like a huge part of having privilege is not knowing that you have privilege," she said on the show. 

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"When it was happening, 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."

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At her high school, Olivia said that many parents were donating to colleges to help their kids get in. She failed to understand how what her parents did was different from that and, on a larger scope, how any of that is wrong at all. 

Olivia said that Mossimo fixated on USC because he wanted his daughters close to home.

While Olivia didn't explicitly share what she knew, she has since learned that it was wrong for her to take a spot at USC.

She also said that she wasn't angry at her parents when the news of the scandal broke in March of 2019, but she's ready to move on.

"I just want to move forward and I totally, totally understand if people aren't ready to jump on board with me. But I'm here because I want to leave it on the table. I don't want to keep dragging this throughout my life... to have the biggest mistake you've made be so public, it didn't make it easier."

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