Olivia Jade Giannulli, the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannul who was at the center of the largest college bribery scandal in U.S. history, is speaking out for the first time regarding what she’s learned from the public fallout.
With both of her parents serving time in federal prison for paying a college admissions scammer to help get their two daughters into USC, Jade felt it was the perfect opportunity to break her silence. She chose to do so on Jada Pinkett Smith’s popular Facebook talk show Red Table Talk.
Pinkett Smith hosts the show alongside her mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris, and her daughter Willow Smith. Banfield Norris made it clear from the beginning that she is opposed to Jade’s presence. Pinkett Smith was of the opposite perspective, while Willow was somewhere between both of them.
“I fought it tooth and nail," said Banfield Norris before Olivia Jade's arrival. "I just found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story,” she said. “I feel like, here we are…white woman coming to Black women for support when we don’t get the same from them...Her being here is the epitome of white privilege to me.”
Still, Pinkett Smith allowed Jade to share her side of the story. While she agrees with her mother that Jade has a level of privilege that Black women don’t, she wants to break the cycles of such thinking as she too dealt with blowback from her white counterparts throughout her careers. Willow agrees with both her mother and grandmother. Pinkett Smith also notes that her own children have been vilified for being considered rich and their emotional problems dismissed, explaining that as a result, she empathizes with Jade.
While at the table, Banfield Norris told Olivia Jade, “I'm exhausted. I’m exhausted with everything that we have to deal with as a community, and I just don’t have the energy to put into the fact that you lost your endorsements. You know, or you're not in school right now because at the end of the day you’re gonna be OK because your parents are gonna go in, and they’re gonna do their sixty days, and they’re gonna pay their fine, and you guys will go on and you’ll be okay and you will live your life. And there’s so many of us that it is not going to be that situation. It just makes it very difficult right now for me to care. In this atmosphere that we are in right now. A year from now, I might feel differently. But right now, in the atmosphere that the world is in, it’s very difficult for me to feel compassionate about you. I’m trying to. And I shouldn’t say about you because I don’t want you to take it that personal, you know what I mean? It’s not really about you. But this is what I am glad because what I am hearing from you is that there is an interest and a desire to learn and figure out where you fit in the world and what your role is.”
She added, “It may take you a minute to find out exactly what that niche is for you. You know, but it's gonna require your willingness to do some education on your own and to really understand white privilege and what’s happening in the world today.”
Check out the full episode below: