Entertainment family faces consequences for involvement in college admissions scandal

April 29, 2019 — by Selena Liu

A college scandal took the country by storm in March, when government authorities found hundreds of college students and their parents guilty of bribing college admission officers and coaches to grant admission. Among the students caught up in the scandal is Olivia Jade, daughter of “Fuller House” star Lori Loughlin.

Jade, a 19-year-old YouTube star known for her beauty tutorials and makeup products, has morphed into the face of the scandal. With Loughlin and famous fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli as parents, Jade epitomizes the wealthy elite children involved in the scandal.

Jade’s YouTube career first started when she was in high school. Over the years, Jade amassed over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 1.4 million followers on Instagram. On her channel, Jade does makeup tutorials while casually talking to her viewers about her social life, her family and other aspects of her life.

However, Jade’s career has crumbled with the entire world now aware of her connection to the scandal. Jade’s parents reportedly paid over $500,000 in bribes to sports coaches at the University of Southern California to designate Jade and her sister, Isabella Giannulli, as rowing recruits to the university.

As a result of the scandal, Jade’s beauty line trademarks, including her cosmetics lines Olivia Jade and Olivia Jade Beauty, are being scuttled. Makeup company Sephora has already terminated its contract with Jade and dropped her products from their store aisles, according to Teen Vogue.

So what is Jade doing now? According to sources that have spoken to Elle magazine, Jade has temporarily cut off communication with her parents out of anger because of the scandal and is currently living at her boyfriend’s house in Malibu.

“Olivia hasn’t been out with friends. She’s completely in hiding right now,” the source told Elle. “A lot of Olivia’s friends have been telling her not to be mad at her parents since they were just trying to do the best they could for her, but she doesn’t listen. Olivia feels she is the victim.”

People magazine also reports that Jade knew about her parents’ bribes and “would never gone along with it” if she thought it would harm her. Angry toward her parents, Jade is now allegedly looking for ways to rebuild her brand and her social media presence, although she still has not made any public statements yet.

Meanwhile, Jade’s parents have been caught squarely in the legal crosshairs. Loughlin’s maximum potential sentence could require her to stay in prison for up to five years under the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The scandal has also taken a huge effect on Loughlin’s career as an actress. Loughlin has lost major roles on a show and a television movie series, and these productions have said that they will stop development of shows featuring her like “Fuller House,” according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, with the media exposing the scandal to the general public, more and more members of the online community who are acquainted with Jade and Loughlin have spoken out about their impressions of the family.

For example, YouTuber Harlow Brooks released a viral video discussing her experience going to the same high school as Olivia Jade.

“I didn’t even have time to do anything outside of school, so when I saw her in class I kept thinking ‘How does she have time to travel for YouTube? How does she have time to make YouTube videos?’” Brooks said.

Brooks’s experience of going to the same school as Jade has given context on Jade’s true character even before the scandal, giving the public insight on how the Giannulli family secretly helped Jade manage her life both as a student and as a YouTuber.

How will Jade and her family recover from this scandal? While Jade was the one accused of cheating into college, people see her as the victim. Even if the scandal has marked a dent in her career, former fans of her YouTube channel, like me, would still like to see her rebuild her channel and social media presence, of course only after she apologizes for going along with her parent’s bribery.

After working on her YouTube channel for so many years and even prioritizing it over her school work, Jade should be given a chance to rebuild her reputation and chanel. However, since Jade did not prioritize her studies in high school, it’s only right for her to have to attend a less prestigious school than USC; she needs to start all over.

Nevertheless, Jade and Loughlin’s involvement with the college scandal has tarnished both of their reputations, and the two have faced heavy criticism. But both are facing consequences and may never be able to rebuild their professional careers.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.


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