“To be honest, I wasn’t angry because I didn’t have a good understanding of what just happened. I didn’t see the wrong in it.” Overnight, web television talk show, Red Table Talk, released a powerful new interview with Olivia Jade Giannuli. Featuring regular guests Jada-Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, the trio questioned the young influencer in her first interview since the college admissions scandal in 2019.
For the unacquainted, Olivia and her sister Isabella were the talk of the town (world) when A-list parents Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannuli plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Just weeks ago, their parents began their sentence of two months in prison.
In what was expected to be an uncomfortable conversation, actually resulted in an honest 30 minutes on issues such as white privilege and wealth. Jade agrees she doesn’t deserve “pity” and admits when the lid blew open on the “Operation Varsity Blues” scandal in May of 2019, she didn’t understand the problem.
“I’m 21. I deserve a second chance…” Jade says, opening the conversation. She continues, “A huge part about privilege is not knowing you have privilege. When it was happening, it didn’t feel wrong.”
What ensued for Jade and her younger sister was extensive online bullying as well as the loss of major endorsements including a makeup line with Sephora.
“I also felt very misunderstood. The picture that has been painted of me, I feel like, is not who I am. I’m not this bratty girl that doesn’t want to change anything. I also understand why people are angry and I understand why people say hurtful things and I would too if I wasn’t in my boat. I had to go through the backlash because you when you read it, you realise there is some truth in it.”
Adrienne Banfield-Norris, mother to Jada, explained why she and so many people were hurt by the scandal.
“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 or [that] you’re not in school right now,” Banfield Norris says. “Because at the end of the day you’re going to be okay because your parents are going to go in and do their 60 days and they’re going to pay their fine, and you guys will go on and be okay and you will live your life. There’s so many of us that is not going to be that situation, it just makes it very difficult right now for me to care in this atmosphere. A year from now I might feel different, but right now in the atmosphere that the world is in, it’s very difficult for me to be compassionate about you. I’m trying to…”
Comments on the RTT Facebook page are largely positive towards Jade. But as the three hosts have revealed, all may be forgiven for the 21-year-old, but it will never quite be forgotten.
Watch the full episode below.