Olivia Jade has finally checked her privilege, and it only took a nationwide college admissions scandal for her to do so!
The breakout star of Operation Varsity Blues sat down for her first interview since the news of the controversy broke last year, breaking her silence on her family’s involvement in the scandal on Tuesday’s episode of Jada Pinkett Smith‘s Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk.
As you likely know, the 21-year-old influencer’s parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, are both currently serving time in prison after pleading guilty in May to paying $500,000 in bribes to get their two children accepted into the University of Southern California as bogus crew recruits.
Unsurprisingly, seeing her parents sent off to prison wasn’t easy for OJ, but she admitted on Red Table Talk that she’s not trying to dwell on it. She explained:
“It’s been hard. I think for anybody, no matter what the situation is, you don’t want to see your parents go to prison, but also I think it’s necessary for us to move on and move forward.”
We bet all she wants is to move forward from this scandal! But of course, it’s hard to move on from something of this magnitude.
While the social media star maintained she wasn’t fully in-the-know of what her parents did to secure her USC admission (hard to believe, seeing as gurl posed for the fake rowing pics herself), she admits that the family severely “messed up.”
OJ continued to Jada and her co-hosts, daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones:
“I’m not trying to victimize myself. I don’t want pity — I don’t deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like, ‘I recognize I messed up.’ I never got to say, ‘I’m really sorry that this happened,’ or ‘I really own that this was a big mess-up on everybody’s part,’ but I think everybody feels that way in my family right now.”
Well, we guess it’s nice she’s holding herself accountable. But it’s not like she really has any other choice if she wants to save her career…
The vlogger later recalled the moment when she first learned the scandal was going to go public, telling the table:
“I was sitting with a group of friends and I knew any second everybody was going to know too, if they didn’t already, and I remember just freezing and feeling so ashamed — I went home and hid myself for probably three or four months.”
Olivia went on to say that she “didn’t really 100 percent understand what just had happened” and “wasn’t angry” at her parents initially because she “didn’t see the wrong” in the situation.
“We did all of this and we’re so ignorant, and I feel like a huge part of privilege is not knowing you have privilege. And so when it was happening, it didn’t feel wrong. It didn’t feel like, that’s not fair, a lot of people don’t have that… I was like, ‘Why is everybody complaining?’ That’s embarrassing within itself, that I walked around my whole 20 years of life not realizing, ‘You have insane privilege. You’re like the poster child of white privilege. You had no idea.’”
For what it’s worth, the scandal eventually gave Olivia — and hopefully a bunch of other rich kids — a much needed reality check. Recently, she’s spent time mentoring young, at-risk students in Los Angeles, which she claims has “shifted whole mentality.” She explained:
“They all were so little but they were so grateful for that education … I was watching all of them and I was thinking about my situation and that I took all of that for granted. I didn’t think that I was lucky to have that, I just expected it because that’s what I grew around. So it was a big shift in my head knowing, ‘Okay, let’s start recognizing where the wrongs are in that.’”
Although OJ has learned priceless lessons throughout this experience, she is totally, completely done with this scandal and wants the public to feel the same way. (Well, it’s not really done for the people who didn’t get into USC because she took their spot, but we digress…) She noted:
“I want to move forward and I totally, totally understand if people aren’t ready to jump on board with me, but I’m here because I want to leave it on the table. I don’t want to keep dragging this throughout my life.”
However, Olivia’s many critics likely aren’t ready to forgive and forget just yet.
Even Jada’s momma revealed she was still anti-OJ, telling viewers that she fought the appearance “tooth-and-nail.” Banfield-Jones elaborated:
“I find it really ironic that she chooses three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story. It’s bothersome to me on so many levels. Her being her is the epitome of white privilege to me.”
We’re sure many others will agree.
What do U think about Olivia’s appearance, Perezcious readers? Does telling her side of the story make her more likable? Can she save her career at this point? Watch the episode (below) and sound off in the comments!
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