HBO Max's new Gossip Girl series wasted no time in making a topical reference to influencer Olivia Jade, specifically over how her clout was possibly impacted by her mom Lori Loughlin's 2020 jail sentence for her involvement in the 2019 college admissions scandal.
About 38 minutes into the first episode, Constance Billard School for Girls student Monet De Haan (Savannah Lee Smith) says, "You as someone who loses is bad for business." Fellow student Luna La (Zión Moreno) replies, "And everything will be fine so long as you win. Olivia Jade gained followers when her mom went to jail."
The 21-year-old immediately took to TikTok to set the record straight. "No, I didn't," she said, shaking her head in a response video, posted Saturday, July 10. She turned the comments off.
In March 2019, Olivia's mom and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted for allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to have her and her sister Isabella Giannulli, 22, admitted to the University of Southern California (USC) as recruits to the crew team, even though they are not rowers. Following the scandal, both women dropped out of USC and Olivia lost major partnerships with brands, including Sephora.
Olivia's Instagram follower count did not appear to be too affected by the college admissions scandal. However, the number of her YouTube subscribers has fallen from almost 2 million from two years ago to 1.8 million today.
no i didn’t? original sound - Olivia Jade
Lori served less than two months behind bars for her involvement in the case. For his role, her husband served a five-month prison sentence, some of which was spent in home confinement.
In December 2020, on Red Table Talk, Olivia apologized "for contributing to the social inequality" and dubbed herself a "poster child of white privilege."
In March, Olivia talked in a TikTok video about life after the scandal and the important lesson a "very inspirational woman" taught her.
"We were talking about being publicly shamed and I was like, 'Well, my situation doesn't even compare, I'm not even going to start to compare it to yours,'" Olivia recalled. "And she looked at me and said, ‘Olivia, it doesn't matter if I'm drowning in 60 ft. of water and you're drowning in 30, we're both still drowning.'"
She continued, "I think about that quote everyday because it's so true and such a bigger message to our world right now. I think we're all very quick to judge. I think we're all very quick to put people down."