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As Lori Loughlin awaits trial, her daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli has returned to YouTube.
Loughlin, 55, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, 56, were charged earlier this year for allegedly participating in a college admissions bribery scheme to get their two daughters — Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli — into the university of their choice. The couple has pleaded not guilty to their alleged crimes, but their daughters are no longer students at the University of Southern California.
Olivia Jade, who was known as a social media influencer who frequently posted content to both YouTube and Instagram, in particular faced an onslaught of backlash due to earlier statements she made about her lack of interest in higher education. However, after receding from the spotlight in the midst of her parent’s drama, Giannulli returned to YouTube with a brief video posted over the weekend.
In “hi again,” a two-minute video published on Sunday, Giannulli shared with her nearly 2 million followers that she wants to move on with her life.
“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 just, unfortunately … the reason for that is just ‘cause I’m legally not allowed to speak on anything going on right now,” she said.
She then explained that although she “genuinely [missed]” making YouTube videos during her absence, she spent months debating returning to the site, due to her being legally bound from speaking about certain things in her life.
“Thank you so much for your patience or if you’ve stuck around for nine months just waiting, I really appreciate it,” she said. “This is the best I can do and I want to move on with my life.”
“Not trying to be in a selfish way. It’s so hard because I’m not trying to like, make this about me, or like, how I’ve been, because that’s not the point of this,” she continued. “Though 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 for people that have been [direct messaging] and asking me. The moral of the story is, I’ve missed you guys so much, and I am just really excited to start filming again and to start uploading and I really hope you enjoy the vlog.”
Federal prosecutors have accused Loughlin and Giannulli of paying $500,000 to have their daughters admitted to USC as members of the crew team, despite neither student playing the sport. Both have pleaded not guilty to fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and, most recently, bribery, according to the Associated Press. While discussing the situation with his accountant, Mossimo Giannulli is alleged to have told them that he’d had to “work the system” to get his daughter into the school.
The couple has faced some criticism for maintaining their innocence, with Andrew Lelling, the U.S Attorney for Massachusetts, theorizing in October that Loughlin’s handling of the situation will likely result in more prison time for her than for actress Felicity Huffman, who was also charged with similar crimes but who pleaded guilty and apologized for her actions. In addition to a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service, a judge sentenced Huffman to two weeks behind bars, to be followed by probation for a year; she was released in late October after serving 11 days of her sentence.
“We will probably ask for a higher sentence for [Loughlin] than we did for Felicity Huffman,” Lelling told Boston’s WCVB. “I can’t tell you exactly what that would be. … It’s tough to tell at this point how it’s going to develop.”
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