Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s 19-year-old daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, was on the yacht of Rick Caruso, the chairman of University of Southern California’s Board of Trustees, when her parents were indicted for allegedly paying $500,000 for her acceptance to USC.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Olivia Jade was in the Bahamas for spring break on Tuesday with Caruso’s 19-year-old daughter Gianna (Gigi) Caruso, before returning to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
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“My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government’s announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interest to return home,” Caruso said in a statement.
The Full House actress and Giannulli have been charged in the scheme to get their two daughters fraudulently accepted to USC by paying $500,000 to have them labelled as crew-team recruits at the USC, even though neither is a rower.
“The charges filed yesterday against employees of USC are disturbing and the alleged activity is absolutely wrong,” Caruso continued. “I am saddened that these people would abuse their positions of trust and, as the government has alleged, victimize USC in the process. There is no option other than zero tolerance for this type of behaviour. As a result, USC has fired the alleged wrongdoers.”
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Olivia Jade, a social-media influencer, came under scrutiny earlier this week for a video she posted to YouTube before beginning her fall semester last year.
In the video, Olivia Jade said she didn’t care about school and was just there to experience the “partying” and game days.
She’s also used her college experience as branded advertising opportunities for companies such as Amazon Prime.
“Officially a college student! It’s been a few weeks since I moved into my dorm and I absolutely love it. I got everything I needed from Amazon with @primestudent and had it all shipped to me in just two-days. #ad #primestudent #allonamazon,” she captioned a photo on Instagram last September.
Following the news of Loughlin’s involvement in the college admissions scheme, Olivia Jade’s collection at Sephora has been pulled.
Olivia Jade and the makeup retailer worked together on the Olivia Jade x Sephora palette, released in December 2018.
In an official statement, Sephora revealed the product would be pulled from shelves, “After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately.”
USC officials have said that they’re going to look at each student’s case individually before deciding whether to revoke their admission or let them remain at the university.
USC plans a “case-by-case review of current students and graduates that may be connected to the scheme alleged by the government.”
“We will make informed, appropriate decisions once those reviews have been completed,” Leigh Hopper, a USC spokesperson, said. “Some of these individuals may have been minors at the time of their application process.”
At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents were among those charged. Some parents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, as much as $6.5 million, to guarantee their children’s admission, officials said.
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“Every student deserves to be considered on their individual merits when applying to college, and it’s disgraceful to see anyone breaking the law to give their children an advantage over others,” U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The department is looking closely at this issue and working to determine if any of our regulations have been violated.”
At a brief court appearance on Wednesday, a judge allowed Loughlin to be released on $1-million bond and travel to the area around Vancouver, Canada, to work but otherwise imposed strict travel restrictions.
Magistrate Judge Steven Kim said Loughlin must surrender her passport in December, inform the court of her travel plans and provide evidence of where she’s been if asked.
— With files from the Associated Press and ET Canada’s Aynslee Darmon