Daughter in admissions scandal returns to YouTube channel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Social media star Olivia Jade Giannulli on Sunday posted her first YouTube video since the arrest of her parents, actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, made her one of the most visible figures in the college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy parents and their children.

“Welcome back to my YouTube channel, obviously I’ve been gone for a really long time,” Jade said in the two-minute video, titled hi again, posted to her account that has nearly two million subscribers.

She said she debated for months whether to return to her channel, which focussed on fashion, beauty and video-diary entries about her life.

“I’m terrified to make this video and come back,” Jade said, “but I want to start taking smaller steps in the right direction.”

Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying USD500,000 to have their two daughters labelled as recruits to the USC crew team so they could gain admission to the school, even though neither participated in the sport.

Lori Loughlin poses with her daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli at the ‘An Unforgettable Evening’ in California on February 28. PHOTO: AP

Charged in federal court in Massachusetts with conspiracy to commit fraud, bribery and money laundering, they have pleaded not guilty and have refused to reach plea agreements with prosecutors as many other parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, already have done.

In her new video, Jade said she stayed away from social media because she is legally prohibited from talking about the scandal, and it seemed pointless to appear and ignore it.

“If I can’t talk about it, is there a point in coming back and not being able to saying anything?” Jade said. It’s not clear what legal restrictions would keep her from speaking or whether attorneys have simply advised her not to do so.

Jade said the pull of social media was too strong to stay away.

“I actually really, really miss it,” she said. “I feel like a huge part of me is not the same because this is something that I’m really passionate about and something I really like to do. I’m really excited to start filming again and start uploading again.” Jade went silent on social media after her parents’ March arrest and lost advertising deals that included cosmetics retailer Sephora and hair products company TRESemme.