After enduring endless criticism online in the wake of the college admissions scandal, losing lucrative endorsement deals with Sephora, Estée Lauder, and TRESemmé, and apparently going into hiding, Olivia Jade Giannulli seems to be garnering some sympathy online.
Thanks to her glam public persona, which in some ways embodied the “spoiled rich kid” image that many had of those involved in the scam, she has become the unofficial face of Operation Varsity Blues. While other children of the dozens of parents arrested in connection to the scheme have come away unscathed, Olivia Jade became an easy target: She’s privileged, pretty, and she hasn’t come forward to speak on the matter. And though it was her mother, Lori Loughlin, and her dad, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who were the ones charged with the crimes, Olivia Jade is the name that continues to make headlines two weeks after the news first broke.
If you’ll recall, Loughlin was named alongside fellow actor Felicity Huffman. However, Huffman’s relatively private daughter seemed immune to online hate. Instead, the spotlight shone brightest on Olivia Jade, a YouTuber who’d built a respectable following of two million subscribers who loved her vlogs and beauty tutorials. As reporters dug into her content, her less-than-enthusiastic attitude towards education became common knowledge. And thus she became the punch line of the entire scandal.
By now, most people know that she filmed a video stating that she enrolled in USC to experience tailgates and parties, but during Loughlin’s testimony, it was revealed that Olivia didn’t even fill out her application herself.
“[Olivia] has not submitted all her colleges [sic] apps and is confused on how to do so,” Loughlin allegedly wrote in an email to William “Rick” Singer. “Can you tell us how to proceed?”
Though she hasn’t said anything publicly, tabloid sources said that Olivia didn’t want anything to do with her parents’ actions. In fact, her friends have told her not to be mad at Loughlin and her father, Mossimo Giannulli, because they were simply doing what they thought was best. Instead of disobeying her parents by declining to go to school, she put her own career as an influencer on hold and did what was asked of her: she enrolled at USC.
“Now that her endorsement deals have fallen through she is very upset with her parents,” a source told Us Weekly. “Olivia blames her mom and dad for this scandal and for the downfall of her career.”
Olivia’s fans and friends are feeling for her. They’re looking at the fact that she was just doing as she was told. They also acknowledged that nobody else seems to be getting the same negative attention.
“It’s honestly really horrible and sad, because even though it makes more sense for her and her family to get the attention, because they’re in the spotlight, there were other people that were involved with this. Nobody really talks about those other people,” a 15-year-old fan told Elle.
Other fans have remained loyal as well, saying that Olivia’s parents got caught doing something awful but that she could return to making videos to show her side of the story. They add that everyone makes mistakes and as long as Olivia handles the ordeal with respect, they’re willing to continue supporting her. They cite her as being relatable, open, and honest, things that they hope won’t change if and when she returns to social media. Even people who don’t necessarily follow Olivia on social media seem to feel for her, commenting on disparaging tweets with sympathy and encouragement.
For now, Olivia is laying low. When she decides to return to the public eye, we’ll all see what sort of reception she gets.