Social media star Olivia Jade Giannulli on Sunday posted her first YouTube video since the arrest of her parents, actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, made her one of the most visible figures in the college admissions scandal.
“Welcome back to my YouTube channel, obviously I’ve been gone for a really long time,” Jade says in the two-minute video titled “hi again” and posted to her account that has nearly two million subscribers.
She says she debated for months whether to return to her channel, which focused on fashion, beauty and video-diary entries about her life, due to the scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy parents and their children.
“I’m terrified to make this video and come back,” Jade says, “but I want to start taking smaller steps in the right direction.”
Ms Loughlin and Mr Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters labelled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team so they could gain admission to the school, even though neither participated in the sport.
Charged in federal court in Massachusetts with conspiracy to commit fraud, bribery and money laundering, they have pleaded not guilty and have refused to reach plea agreements with prosecutors as many other parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, already have done.
In her new video, Ms Giuannulli says she stayed away from social media because she is legally prohibited from talking about the scandal, and it seemed pointless to appear and ignore it.