Lori Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade, 22, and Bella Rose Giannulli, 23, have spoken out to defend their famous mother in the wake of the college bribery scandal — insisting that the actress is the ‘nicest person ever’ and has a ‘big heart’.
In March 2019, news broke that Lori, 57, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, 58, paid $500,000 to get their two daughters enrolled at the University of Southern .
They had their daughters listed as recruits for the school’s crew team, despite neither of them ever participating in the sport.
At the time, influencer and YouTube star Olivia Jade faced furious backlash, too over a resurfaced video in which she admitted that she ‘didn’t really care about school’ and only wanted to go for football games mod and parties.
Now, she and her sister have reflected on how the whole situation impacted them and their family, while leaping to their mother’s defense.
Lori Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade, 22, and Bella Rose Giannulli, 23, have spoken out about their mom’s college admissions scandal for the first time ever
In March 2019, news broke that Lori, 57, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, 58, paid $500,000 to get their two daughters enrolled at the University of Southern California
The actress (pictured outside court with Mossimo in 2019) plead guilty and served two months behind bars in 2020. Her husband was jailed for five months and was released in April 2021
‘I think just the hardest part of this entire thing was watching how horrible the media was to both you and mom,’ Bella admitted during an appearance on Olivia Jade’s podcast, .
‘And actually knowing you guys and knowing mom has the biggest heart.’
The 23-year-old explained that one of her teachers recently told her that he worked with Lori on Full House, and he called her the ‘nicest person’ on set.
‘Your mom specifically made sure that I felt welcomed, made me comfortable, and made sure I was as comfortable in a new space as I could be,’ Bella recalled him telling her.
She added: ‘Mom made him so comfortable and feel so at home that it’s resonated with him. I don’t think one person who’s ever worked with mom can say something bad about her because she’s genuinely the nicest person alive.’
50 people were charged in the case — including SAT/ACT test proctors, coaches, college administrators, 33 parents, and more.
Lori plead guilty to the charges and served two months behind bars — being released in December 2020. She also was ordered to pay a $150,000 fine and serve 100 hours of community service.
Her husband was in jail for five months and had to pay a $250,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service. He was released in April 2021.
Olivia Jade, who competed on the most recent season of Dancing With the Stars, agreed with her sister’s sentiment, and she revealed that seeing people ‘drag’ their mom online was actually much harder for her to process than the negative comments she received about herself.
At the time, Olivia Jade came under fire after an old video of her resurfaced, where she said she ‘didn’t really care about school’
Bella said: ‘I don’t think one person who’s ever worked with mom can say something bad about her because she’s genuinely the nicest person alive’
‘I’m not trying to justify or excuse behavior or throw a pity party… but I do very heavily relate to those feelings that you were just saying about mom,’ she said.
‘I think for me, even though I also was getting dragged negatively, it didn’t nearly affect me as much as seeing mom getting [dragged]. She really took this whole thing on her back solely.
‘There were a lot of people who were in this case and I do no know one other person’s name.
‘When you see your mom, who has raised you and been the most incredible mother in the world and also has the kindest heart — that was really hard for me.
‘It was frustrating and it would cause a lot of anger inside myself. Reading stuff about myself didn’t effect me nearly as much as reading stuff about our mom did.’
Olivia Jade admitted that although there was ‘so much’ she wanted to clear up about what went down, she wasn’t allowed to talk about it due to the criminal case.
‘There’s so much I would like to say and clear up and [I want to] go through everything that’s been written and posted about us and say, «That’s not true!»‘ she explained.
‘I want to explain, at the time, what we thought was going on, but we literally can’t because it’s a federal case and I don’t feel like messing with the government so I want to focus on where we’ve been through mental health wise and how it’s effected us.’
The YouTuber continued, ‘I think it’s important that I am honest, but I don’t want my honesty to be mistaken as me ever trying to victimize us or what happened in the last few years.
Olivia Jade, who had a popular YouTube channel at the time of the scandal, faced backlash over it, however she made a return to the spotlight this year on Dancing With the Stars
‘I think with time, and so much thought, and everything that’s happened, we both have a really clear perspective — we can just say we’re in the wrong.
‘I don’t want [my words] to be twisted and [while] I’m sitting here talking about mental health and what we went through the last few years, [I don’t want] people to say, «Are they seriously complaining about this?»‘
Bella told her sister that she didn’t think she was complaining at all, and that it was important for them to talk about what went down.
She added: ‘You only live one life, you only get a certain path yourself, you can’t put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You have to take what you’ve been through and learn from that.
‘That’s what talking about it and working through it does. This is the situation, these are the cards we were dealt so to just not talk about it seems wrong in a way.
‘It’s affected us and it’s also taught us different things and opened our eyes to new perspectives and things we didn’t think about before.
‘We’re not talking about it garner pity or be the victims in a situation but it is life and what we went through, so it would be weird to not talk about it at all.’
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman was also involved in the college admissions scandal. She was accused of paying $15,000 to an organization that helped her daughter, Sophia Grace Macy, cheat on the SATs.
She pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and served 11 days in prison.