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What we know about Olivia Jade, Lori Loughlin's daughter caught up in admission's scandal

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 3/14/2019 Bryan Alexander
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Before March 12, Olivia Jade Giannulli was a powerful social media influencer still on the rise as a YouTube and Instagram star.

But Tuesday's stunning announcement of a federal investigation into a college admission fraud scheme has dramatically changed the narrative for the 19-year-old freshman at the University of Southern California — who goes by her social media name Olivia Jade.

Jade's parents, "Fuller House" star Lori Loughlin and the designer Mossimo Giannulli, whose Mossimo label has been featured at Target stores, have both been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Court papers accuse the couple of bribing college officials with payments totaling $500,000 to facilitate the college entry for Olivia and her sister, Isabella Rose, 20, 

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Here's what you need to know about Jade.

How big a social influencer is Olivia Jade?

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A post shared by OLIVIA JADE (@oliviajade) on Sep 17, 2018 at 2:42pm PDT

Jade has 1.9 million YouTube followers on her lifestyle channel where she highlights her "strong passion for makeup and fashion." Her Instagram page boasts 1.3 million followers where he has promoted paid advertisement posts from the likes of SmileDirectClub, the at-home invisible aligner treatment, and Amazon Prime Student, which fully furnished her dorm room.

“Officially a college student!" she wrote in a September post. "I got everything I needed from Amazon."

Jade has a longtime Instagram partnership with cosmetics powerhouse Sephora, introducing the $28 Olivia Jade Sephora Bronze & Illuminate Palette with the Sephora Collection in December. The stock sold out.

What do the federal charges against her parents state?

Federal prosecutors claim that Jade's famous, wealthy parents facilitated her college entry with the bribes allowing Jade and her sister, Isabella Rose to be listed as recruits for the USC crew team. Court papers make clear, neither participate in the sport. 

Loughlin, known as Aunt Becky in "Full House," appeared in Los Angeles Court Wednesday and was released on $1 million bail. Giannulli appeared in federal court Tuesday and was released on $1 million bail.

Court papers state Giannulli sent an "action photo" of Jade on an ergometer rowing machine to supplement her profile as a crew coxswain for the L.A. Marina Club. The profile was submitted to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions in November 2017, which approved Jade's conditional USC admission two weeks later. She was formally accepted in March 2018.

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What has Olivia Jade said about college?

Pre-college Jade commented on a Twitter about her school work, "It's so hard to try in school when you don't care about anything you're learning."

The YouTube star was in Fiji for work during her first week of college in Aug. 2018. She was criticized for a personal Q&A video she posted on her first day at USC where she talked about the "whole college thing."

"I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend," Jade said discussing balancing her work commitments. "But I do want the experience of, like, game days, partying. I don't really care about school, as you guys all know."

After fielding criticism over the comments, Jade posted a "sorry" video where she apologized to her subscribers.

“I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically. And it totally came across that I’m not-grateful for college — I’m going to a really nice school. And it just kind of made it seem like I don’t care, I just want to brush it off. I’m just gonna be successful at YouTube and not have to worry about school,” she said in the video. “I didn't mean it that way."

How will this scandal impact her life and career?

Since the indictment on Tuesday, irate Internet commentators have filled Jade's YouTube and Instagram pages with comments such as "Lock her up" and "Expel this cheater." The comments have since been disabled.

Commentators have crashed Jade's Sephora website, asking the company to break off the relationship. "I pity any person who purchased or will purchase this item and further line the pockets of that spoiled, entitled little girl," wrote one. "Sephora, if you had half a mind you would cut all ties with this family... What an embarrassment."

Variety stated Jade will likely lose her brand sponsorship deals, noting HP, which had branded the Sprocket photo printer with the influencer, had cut ties already.

What about USC?

USC's Gary Polakovic, of the Office of University Communications, said in a statement to USA TODAY the school plans to "conduct a case-by-case review for 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. Some of these individuals may have been minors at the time of their application process.”

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