From The USC Bribery Scandal Comes a Lesson: Maybe Your Kid Isn’t Ready For College

Published on April 2, 2019

Weeks after the great American college bribery scandal involving actresses, Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin, and thirteen other parents, the general public anxiously awaits news shedding light around the upcoming preliminary hearings this Wednesday in the U.S. District Court.

Within just days of the story surfacing, the fallout was immediate with Loughlin getting fired from her reprised role as “Aunt Becky” on “Fuller House,” as well as getting axed by the Hallmark Channel where she enjoyed significant success as one of their leading original series stars.

Loughlin was arrested along with her famous fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, on a felony charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

The charges are so severe that their collective bail was set at nearly two million dollars and reportedly — to pay it — they used their $35 million mansion in Bel Air, CA, as collateral.

Welcome to this Real-Life Drama

With this true drama playing out in real time, Hollywood sources claim the once celebrated Tinseltown couple has now become reclusive, barely leaving their house and for the most part, shunned by the A-List circle in which they used to thrive.

Such fallout is likely no surprise considering the high profile nature of the matter, but now there is a new dynamic at play that Lori and Mossimo probably never anticipated – their own daughter, Olivia Jade, whose education they tried to commandeer through power and influence, has now publicly turned against them.

Cutting off all communication with her parents, Jade blames them for the destruction of her reputation and career as one of America’s leading social-media personalities.

Olivia was emerging as a star in her own right as a highly sought-after brand influencer. A near spitting image of her mother, her beauty and girl next door charm, combined with a massive social media following made her a dream come true for young adult brands.

She had used her skills and online audience to build a mini-empire while in her teens. On more than one occasion in her social media posts, Jade made it clear she had no interest in college – but her parents continued to force the issue.

The Escalating Scandal

Ironically, Jade’s renown success as an online influencer started when she was around 18 years old, where she was already securing major deals with brands like Seophora, Tresseme, and even a development deal for her own, patent-pending cosmetics line called Olivia Jade Beauty. Yet, despite the prominence, Jade’s parents still pushed a collegiate education on the young star, regardless of Jade’s express rejection of journeying down that path.

But in attempts to appease them, Jade ultimately took the entrance examinations, and according to court documents, Loughlin, and Giannulli, emailed William Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the college bribery scandal, inquiring into Olivia and Isabella’s college prospects back in 2016.

Revealing that Olivia had scored at the lower end of acceptance scores for USC, which was their target school, Mossimo allegedly conspired with Singer to defraud the University, falsifying that Olivia was a seasoned athlete on the rowing team. Why? The scam would allow her to secure an athletic scholarship, despite her poor test scores.

A Cautionary Tale

It is unclear as to how much Jade knew of her parent’s dishonest efforts to get her into USC.

Shortly after her acceptance into the school, she found herself immersed in a social media firestorm for a flippant post in which she mocked college and said, “I do want the experience of game days and  partying, I really don’t care about school.”

With her millions of fans at the high school and college age, her brand partners saw this post as highly irresponsible. Consequently, she faced a public backlash that led to a prompt apology.

Today, Olivia Jade has lost almost all of her social media influencer deals; her brand integrity ruined irreparably. Her cosmetics line patent was also rejected –for now. As it stands, a brand she built in her teens that generated a substantial income, which was on par to becoming a huge success, was derailed because of the actions of extremely overzealous parents who forced their dreams onto their child. That dream is also to be unrealized as Olivia and her sister Bella withdrew from USC amid fears of extreme bullying from classmates.

A Lesson To Be Learned

There is a lesson to be learned, one that transcends tax brackets, power and influence. Parents, please note if your kid scores below the standard of a college entrance exam, then maybe he or she isn’t ready to enter. There are countless other opportunities in education like community colleges where one can build upon academic skills, in addition to numerous vocational studies programs.

When a parent’s desire for Ivy League bragging rights leads them to “photoshop” their kid’s faces onto athlete’s bodies, they might want to reassess their priorities in life.

Corey Andrew is a Columnist at Grit Daily and Instinct Magazine – a leading LGBTQ media source. Andrew’s career as a media personality started on the stages of New York City’s most famous comedy clubs; among them, Catch a Rising Star and Caroline’s on Broadway. He also has over 15 years of experience as a copywriter in advertising and has conducted countless celebrity interviews with some of the biggest names in show business.

Read more

More GD News