Telenovelas — and even reality TV these days — have nothing on the real-life college cheating scandal taking place in Hollywood right now. Ever since celebrities Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, among other wealthy but non-famous parents, were accused of bribing colleges and doctoring photos to gain their children admission by pretending they were recruited for sports, this news story has become the gift that keeps on giving.
In addition to reacting with a bevy of hilarious memes, the internet has been keeping up to date on the goings on of the court procedures. Most recently, Lori Loughlin rejected the DA's plea (Felicity, however, was among the parents who pled guilty), and now faces additional charges when her case — in which she's being indicted for allegedly paying half a million dollars for USC to guarantee her two daughters' admission — goes to the grand jury.
Although most Americans are perplexed with Lori's decision to turn down the plea agreement — "She thought the DA had a pair of 5's but they really had a ...... Full House," one writer humorously tweeted — many others are wondering what her decision is going to mean for her two daughters, Isabella Rose, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19.
Namely, are they going to continue their education at USC? Or have the Giannulli girls thrown in their academic (and athletic, ha!) towels? It's hard to ignore the fact that Olivia Jade had so much success as a YouTube vlogger with nearly 2 million subscribers and corporate sponsorships that she hardly needed to go to college in the first place. "It's so hard to try in school when you don't care about anything you're learning," the internet star tweeted last year.
So, is Olivia Jade still attending college?
But now that she's been dropped by her biggest brand sponsors Sephora and Tresemmé — and will likely not be invited back to post sponsored content for Smile Direct Club, Dolce & Gabbana, Lulus, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Too Faced Cosmetics, Boohoo, or Amazon — it's starting to seem that Olivia Jade could use a Bachelor's Degree now more than ever before.
But it's looking like she doesn't quite see it that way. Neither she nor her sister Isabella Rose have attended a single class since the news of the college bribes first broke. Whether that's because they fear "vicious bullying" (as TMZ speculated) or because they simply don't want to is anyone's guess.
However, Olivia Jade can't just drop out of school.
What we do know is that USC is not letting the sisters withdraw from the college until their investigation is complete. According to the university's official statement, "USC has placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme."
"This prevents the students from registering for classes (until they have agreed to participate in the review of their case), withdrawing from the university, or acquiring transcripts while their cases are under review. Among many factors investigators could consider in reviewing each case are any developments in the criminal cases, including plea deals by parents. Following these case-by-case reviews, we will take the proper action related to each student's status, up to revoking admission or expulsion," the college said.
Did Olivia know about the bribes? Plus, what she has to say about the scandal.
So, USC won't let the sisters formally withdraw from school, but their month-long absence must be taking a toll on Olivia Jade's and Isabella Rose's already middling academic standing. We're thinking that they'll probably not be welcome back to USC, should they eventually decide to finish up their degrees.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Isabella Rose was "far more invested in college [than her sister] and would love to have completed USC." As for the YouTuber, the outlet reported she felt like a victim in the scandal and was initially "really angry with her parents because she told them she did not want to go to college and she was pushed," per sources.
However, ever since her mother's recent decision to turn down the DA's plea, reality is beginning to sink in for Olivia Jade, who seems to have had a change of heart and is no longer angry at her parents. According to Hollywood Life, the vlogger is now "heartbroken that her parents are facing so much jail time."
"The possibility of them going to prison is affecting her even more than she thought it would because she doesn't want them to be locked up," an insider told the outlet. It sounds like Olivia Jade is starting to realize how important they are and how much they sacrificed for her and her sister. "Despite how mad she was at them," she now "really needs the morale."
As for whether or not Olivia Jade knew about the bribes, it's very possible. Many sources, including People, suggest that she was indeed in on it, and cite an unknown source as saying, "She would have never gone along with it if she thought this would happen. Her thing is that she trusted her parents."
If Olivia Jade did in fact know about the fraud and willingly participated in it (it's hard to imagine that she could have been totally in the dark, considering the posed photographs of her playing sports), she could face criminal liability as well.
Olivia Jade hasn't said a peep on any of her social media platforms since the news of the scandal broke last month, and that's probably for the best.
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