As the age-old saying goes: Behind every successful scam is probably an even more successful influencer.
When the news broke on Tuesday that some 40 people — including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman — have been charged in the largest college admissions swindling in the history of the United States, many were quick to highlight that Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli has been vlogging about her experiences at the University of Southern California on YouTube, where she has almost two million subscribers.
According to unsealed court documents reviewed by ABC 7 News, Loughlin and her husband “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — there by facilitating their admission to USC.”
Olivia Jade and her older sister, Isabella, who also goes to USC, are not to blame for their parents’ hoodwinks. According to reports, some students involved in “Operation Varsity Blues,” were allegedly unaware at the time, and are not being prosecuted legally. If this includes Olivia Jade, who is now 19, she was just vlogging and living her best college life — until her parents made everything super embarrassing, that is.
Olivia Jade’s social media channels confirm that she’s been busy pursuing passions other than crew, namely beauty. In high school, she debuted an official collaboration with Sephora, and her vlogs now include makeup tutorials for college parties.
She’s also made the most of her USC dorm room since enrolling, even using it as a stage for some Amazon Prime Student spon-con. “They hooked me up with basically everything in my dorm,” Olivia Jade says in her “College Dorm Room Tour” video, which has garnered over 1 million views. (She claims the video wasn’t sponsored.) Later, however, she posted a paid partnership with the brand on Instagram, where she has over 1 million followers, and spoke about her dorm décor in an interview with Teen Vogue.
Juggling school, a personal brand, and a YouTube channel isn’t easy. In her first week, for example, Olivia Jade had to travel to Fiji for a work shoot. “I don’t know how much of school I’m going to attend, but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all,” she said in a vlog beforehand. “But I do want the experience of game days, partying…” She paused. “I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”
Olivia Jade then apologized for saying she “didn’t care” about college in another vlog called, “im sorry.”
In an interview on the Zach Sang Show, uploaded three days ago, the host asks Olivia Jade why she goes to college at all. “You have a lot going for you, obviously,” he says. “Dude, you have a palette out, you have a thriving channel, you’re building your brand…”
“Mostly, my parents really wanted me to go because both of them didn’t go to college,” Olivia Jade responds. “But I’m so happy they made me go. That sounds so terrible. They didn’t make me. […] I do like it. It’s also cool to create content from a whole different side of things, like in school.”
Olivia Jade’s followers are clearly curious about her collegiate life. She adds: “It’s the coolest thing getting DMs from girls, like, ‘I’m applying to college right now, what did you do?’”