In this post-Fyre Festival world, the rich people scams just keep on coming. Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were revealed as members of a huge college admissions bribery scam earlier this week.
Lori Loughlin of Fuller House allegedly paid a stunning $500,000 to get her two daughters into University of Southern California. With the help of a fraudster, the girls pretended to row crew to qualify as recruits to USC’s crew team.
Stunningly, Lori’s youngest daughter, Olivia Jade, released a YouTube video last year explaining that she didn’t “really care about school.” In response, fans called her “spoiled” and “privileged.”
“I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend,” Olivia said at the time.
“But I do want the experience of like game days, partying…”
She did, however, care enough to pose on a rowing machine to make her mom’s admissions scam more believable! Also, shortly after enrolling, she posted Amazon-sponsored content about her college dorm room.
What. The. Heck.
OK, let’s start from the very beginning!
Lori Loughlin’s youngest daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, is 19 years old. Olivia is a popular Instagram influencer, with 1.3 million followers.
Though she’s definitely already rich and successful enough to skip college, she surprised fans by opting to enroll anyway.
She started her first year at the University of Southern California in the fall, following in the footsteps of older sister Isabella, 20, who also attends USC.
In August, Olivia — who goes by “Olivia Jade” online — posted a controversial YouTube video about her upcoming days as a college student.
“I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend,” Olivia admitted. “But I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying… I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”
Many of Olivia’s nearly 2 million subscribers reacted with anger, calling her “privileged” and “spoiled.” In response, she posted a follow-up video to apologize (in black-and-white, naturally).
“I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically,” she said. “And it totally came across that I’m ungrateful for college — I’m going to a really nice school. And it just kind of made it seem like I don’t care, I just want to brush it off. I’m just gonna be successful at YouTube and not have to worry about school.”
Well! Not so coincidentally, Olivia’s mom Lori has just been revealed as one of several celebrity parents who bribed and cheated their kids’ way into college.
The scandal involves dozens of other parents, including Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman.
Lori “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to court documents.
Authorities say they have emails from Lori as proof of the charges.
Many schools and parents were involved in the scam. The scheme involved students’ admissions as recruited athletes into USC, Georgetown, Stanford, Wake Forest University, UCLA, and Yale.
But Lori’s daughters stand out from the rest, because they reportedly actually knew about what was going on. Olivia and Isabella had to pretend to row crew and pose on ERG machines to get into USC.
And as per Olivia’s own YouTube video, she didn’t even really care about being there!
Amazingly, Olivia didn’t even bother to fill out the application for USC because she was “confused on how to do so.”
Someone else involved in the fraud filled out the application for her.
AND IT GETS WORSE.
Almost immediately after school started, Olivia began cashing in on her status as a college student. She got a sponsorship deal from Amazon to post photos from her college dorm with all of her Amazon Prime furniture and decorations.
Well, at least the family made some of their half a million dollars back?
People on social media have been reacting with utter shock. Many can’t help but laugh, with one comedian writing spin-off jokes like “TERI HATCHER GOT ME INTO BROWN.”
Others have pointed out that if you’re going to scam your way into college, $500,000 to go to USC seems like a really horrible deal.
And yes, there are as many Aunt Becky jokes as you would expect.
But many students, graduates, and parents aren’t laughing. They’re furious about the scam, which is massively unfair. These kids can just pay their way through college, while countless others have to actually work to earn their spot.
Lori faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.
Olivia and Isabella are not mentioned by name on the indictment, and it remains to be seen whether they’ll be kicked out of USC.