Olivia Jade Giannulli and her sister, Bella Giannulli, are, for the first time together, discussing the college admission scandal that embroiled their family. Although neither exactly called it that, referring to it at one point as the "thingy thing with our family," the siblings talked about how their mental health was impacted by the controversy.
Bella, 23, was a guest on Monday's Conversations With Olivia Jade podcast in which they opened up about how hard it was to see negative media coverage about their mom, Lori Loughlin. But first, they prefaced that they aren't trying to garner sympathy.
"We both have a really clear perspective ... we can just say we're in the wrong," Olivia, 22, began. "I don't want that generic kind of topic to be twisted that I'm sitting here asking about mental health and what we went through the last few years and people saying, 'Are they seriously complaining about this?'"
"It's not complaining," Bella added. "You have to take what you've been through and learn from that. That's what talking about it and working through it does."
Olivia noted they can't talk about certain legal aspects of the case — "I don't feel like messing with the government" — so they touched on their own experience about their world changing in 2019. The YouTube star asked Bella how it felt to go through it when the story was "heavily focused on mom and I."
"What were you kind of feeling during that time? Did you almost feel like your experience was undermined or were yo happy to be out of the public eye," Olivia asked, noting the "hatred" she and Loughlin received.
"I think just the hardest part of this entire thing was watching how horrible, or reading or seeing, how horrible the media was to both you and mom. And actually knowing you guys and knowing mom has the biggest heart," Bella replied. She went on to tell a story she heard from her acting teacher about how kind Loughlin was on set of Full House.
"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," Bella added.
"I think that was hard for me too," Olivia agreed. "I'm not trying to justify or excuse behavior or throw a pity party. ... I do very heavily relate to those feelings that you were just saying about mom. I think for me, even though I also was getting dragged negatively, it didn't nearly affect me as much as seeing mom getting ... she really took this whole thing on her back solely."
Olivia added, "There are a lot of people that were in this case and a lot of other parents and I don't know one other person's name."
Actress Felicity Huffman was among the parents convicted for participating in the nationwide bribery scheme. She was one of the first people to plead guilty and only spent two weeks in prison compared to Loughlin's two months.
Olivia said she'll "drag" and "roast myself and I won't forgive myself forever probably," but that it's hard to watch media coverage of her mom calling the press "extremely hypocritical."
It seems the Loughlin-Giannullis' time-out in Hollywood is up. Olivia competed on the current season of Dancing With the Stars while Loughlin has returned to acting for the first time since everything unfolded. She will guest star in GAC Family's When Hope Calls out next month.
Olivia Jade discusses the college admissions scandal: