In 2019, when actress Lori Loughlin and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were arrested in a college admissions scandal, it was revealed that they would have spent $ 500,000 to ensure their two daughters were accepted at the University of Southern California. Reactions to the couple’s actions were swift.
One of their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli, then a student and YouTube influencer, who appeared to be enjoying the fruits of their labor while attending a prestigious university.
Now, with both of his parents serving prison sentences, Giannulli has taken a seat for a Red table to try to explain his thoughts and feelings about what happened.
The series Red table presents Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow. and Jada’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, also known in the series as Gammy. The trio lead candid conversations at the table, discussing the most important and provocative topics of the day.
At the start of the conversation, Pinkett reveals that it was Giannulli who reached out, wanting to be on this particular show. But, it is immediately clear that not everyone at the table was happy to welcome this guest. Banfield-Jones spoke of this saying: “I fought tooth and nail. I just found it really ironic that she chose three black women to contact for her redemption story. I feel like we are here [a] a white woman comes looking for support from black women when we don’t get the same from them. It’s just that it’s embarrassing to me on so many levels. His presence here is the epitome of white privilege for me.
She added, “It is not our responsibility to raise her consciousness,” to which Willow replied, “Perfect hundred.”
But, they gave Gianulli a chance to speak.
She offered this as her reasoning for choosing this outlet: “I felt like I wanted to be somewhere where I didn’t feel attacked and maybe I could feel more understood. I watch the show and think you are all amazing and it feels really safe, but it also feels honest and I feel like we’re going to explain everything here, and it will be an open conversation which is really important. to me too.
Giannulli revealed that she did not speak to her parents during their incarceration and ultimately did not return to college after their arrests, basically claiming she was too embarrassed. And, in light of the revelation about the payments her parents had made to secure her admission, she also felt, “I shouldn’t have been there clearly in the first place. So there was no point in me trying to go back.
When the scandal first erupted, Giannulli couldn’t understand why the public was so upset. “I remember thinking, ‘How are people crazy about this??‘I know it sounds so silly, but, in the bubble I grew up in, a lot of kids in that bubble, their parents were donating to schools and doing things that benefited them – so many benefits. . It’s not fair and it’s not fair, but it was happening. And so when it first came out, I was like, “I don’t really understand what’s wrong with this.”
Then she adds: “I didn’t realize at the time that it was a privilege. I didn’t put the two together. This is not how it should be and unfortunately it is. I am grateful for the situation to see this big change in my own mind.
At this point, she mentions her infamous YouTube video, posted before the scandal came to light, in which she says she didn’t even want to go to college, but maybe just for the holidays. “It means a lot to me and makes me cringe and it’s embarrassing to have said this stuff before, and not just said it, but edited it, downloaded it, then seen the answer to realize that it was wrong. There was no malicious intent behind it. I never tried to hurt anyone or say these things to brag about in my life, it was just … I was oblivious.
Even with this confession, Banfield-Jones still struggled to feel compassion for Giannulli, saying, “I’m exhausted. I am exhausted from all that we have to deal with as a community, and I just don’t have the energy to devote to the fact that you have lost your supports. At the end of the day, you’ll be fine because your parents are going to be sixty days old, and they’re going to pay their fine, and you’re going to go on and you’ll be fine and you will live your life. And there are so many of us that it won’t be that situation. It’s just that it’s very hard for me to care about it right now. A year from now, I might feel different, but at the moment it’s very difficult for me to have compassion for you.
Then she adds, “I don’t want you to take it so personally. It’s not really about you. I’m happy because what I’m hearing from you is that there is an interest and a desire to learn.
Insisting that she didn’t come to the table to try to convince people, Giannulli said: “I just want to apologize for contributing to these social inequalities, even though I didn’t. not realized at the time. To be able to come here and recognize it, I’m aware of that.
On top of that, Giannulli says she doesn’t deserve pity for what happened. “I just want a second chance to say ‘I admit I screwed up’ and for so long I couldn’t talk about it because of the legalities behind it. I was never able to say, “I’m so sorry that this happened. ”
Banfield-Jones, without mince words, concluded about Giannulli: “At the end of the day, I really feel like she’s going to be fine, you know? And she’ll recover whether her a ** was sitting at that table or not.
Red Table Talk is available to stream on Watch Facebook.