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Olivia Jade Giannulli — the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who have been charged in the college admissions bribery scandal — on Sunday made her return to YouTube for the first time since “Operation Varsity Blues” ensnared her parents earlier this year.
In the video posted, titled “hi again,” Jade addressed why she ultimately decided to return to the platform despite being “not allowed to speak on anything” related to the scandal.
“Obviously, I’ve been gone for a really long time and as much as I wish I could talk about all of this, it’s really hard for me to say this, just because I know that it’s something that needs to be addressed,” she said in her 2-minute-long video. “It’s just, unfortunately, which is also why I didn’t know exactly when I should come back to YouTube, but the reason for that is just because I’m legally not allowed to speak on anything going on right now.”
Jade added that she debated even returning to YouTube in the first place. “A part of me is like, ‘Should I come back to YouTube right now?’ ’cause it’s been so long and I actually really, really miss it,” she said. “Like, I genuinely miss filming. I feel like a huge part of me is just not the same because this is something that I’m really passionate about, it’s something I really like to do. But I also didn’t know, I debated for like, seven or eight months, like, ‘Well, if I can’t talk about it, is there a point in coming back and not being able to say anything?’ I want to come back because I want to come back.”
Though Jade reiterated that she wishes she could “say something” related to the scandal, she thanked viewers for their support: “Thank you so much for your patience or if you’ve stuck around for nine months just waiting. I really appreciate it. This is the best I can do and I want to move on with my life … not trying to be in a selfish way … but it’s so hard ’cause I’m not trying to like, make this about me or like, how I’ve been, because it’s not the point of this.”
She continued, “Although I am terrified to make this video and to come back, I know that I also want to start taking smaller steps in the right direction.” Jade also added that she intends to start filming and uploading videos again.
In April, Loughlin and Giannulli were among several parents charged with money laundering and other crimes in what authorities termed “Operation Varsity Blues.” Loughlin and Giannulli were initially charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud for paying $500,000 through a college prep business to ensure their two daughters’ admission to the University of Southern California as recruits to the college’s rowing team, even though they did not participate in the sport.
Loughlin and Giannulli have plead not guilty to the charges. Actress Felicity Huffman, who was also charged in the scandal, pleaded guilty and served 11 days in prison. In October, Loughlin and Giannulli were additionally charged with the program conspiracy count.
Loughlin and Giannulli have maintained their innocence and are awaiting trial.
Prior to the college cheating scandal, Jade was recognized as a beauty blogger, social media star and YouTuber with 1.9 million subscribers on the video platform and another 1.3 million on Instagram. She also appears in a brief scene in the 2018 movie Eighth Grade when Kayla (Elsie Fisher) watches a makeup tutorial on YouTube.
In the past two years, Jade secured sponsorship deals with beauty and fashion companies Too Faced, Smashbox, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Lulus, Boohoo and Dolce & Gabbana beauty, as well as HP Inc. and haircare brand Tresemme. Beauty chain Sephora confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that it dropped Jade from its brand partnership amid the scandal, with Tresemme and The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. following suit.
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