Sofia Richie Defends Olivia Jade After College Scandal Interview
Spreading love not hate. Sofia Richie showed her support for Olivia Jade Giannulli following the influencer’s first interview about her family’s part in the college admissions scandal on Tuesday, December 8.
The 21-year-old influencer sat down with Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Jones and Willow Smith on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk on Tuesday to discuss the scandal that landed her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, in jail earlier this year. Olivia Jade opened up about her white privilege before apologizing for her and her loved ones’ participation in the case.
The YouTube star explained that she broke her silence about the scandal in order to right a wrong and move forward.
“There is no justifying or excusing what happened because what happened was wrong, and I think every single person in my family can be, like, ‘That was messed up. That was a big mistake,’” she told the trio.
The Marymount High School graduate also addressed her privilege growing up saying, “I took my privilege and all my blessings for granted, and I never thought anything of it.”
Richie, 22, was quick to applaud her pal for her courage. “Yes, girl!!” she wrote on Olivia Jade’s Instagram post promoting the interview. “Can’t wait for what’s ahead.”
The model’s comments sparked backlash from some users, however, with one writing, “white privilege supporting white privilege” with a clown emoji.
Lionel Richie’s daughter, who is biracial, fired back at the haters, replying, “We are all human, who make human mistakes. Life is too short to wish negativity on anyone. Sending you love.”
Olivia Jade also received love from Natasha Bure, who commented with a red heart emoji on the star’s Instagram post. Bure’s mom, Candace Cameron Bure, worked alongside Olivia Jade’s mom on both Full House and Fuller House.
Loughlin, 56, and her husband, 57, were arrested in March 2019 after being accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to the University of Southern California to get their daughters Olivia Jade and Bella, 22, into the school.
After pleading guilty to fraud charges in May, the couple were each sentenced to jail time — two months for the actress and five months for the designer — and ordered to pay $400,000. They are currently serving their time at two separate Federal Correctional Institutions and will also have to complete community service hours after their release.
Olivia Jade encountered some push back from Pinkett Smith’s mother during her Red Table Talk interview, as Banfield-Jones questioned her reasons for choosing “three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story.” The influencer claimed she has evolved since the scandal broke and wants to be a better person.
“I feel like a huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege, and so when it was happening, it didn’t feel wrong. I also felt very misunderstood. The picture that has been painted of me, I feel like, is not who I am,” Olivia Jade said. “I’m not this bratty girl that doesn’t want to change anything. Also, I understand why people are angry and understand why people say hurtful things and I would too if I wasn’t in my boat.”
The beauty guru added: “I understood that people were upset and angry, and maybe it took me a little bit longer to understand what for, but man, am I glad I did realize.”
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