Olivia Jade's Former Classmate Opens Up About College Cheating Scandal: 'I'm Not Surprised'

A former high school classmate gets candid about what school life was like for Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade

One of Olivia Jade‘s former classmates, YouTube lifestyle and beauty blogger Harlow Brooks, got candid about their high school environment days after news of the college admissions scandal broke.

Once Brooks learned that Olivia’s mom, actress Lori Loughlin, and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly paid $500,000 to make it appear that their daughters had been rowers so they could get into USC on an athletic scholarship, the blogger decided to describe her experience and offer insight on what high school life was like for Olivia and her older sister, Isabella Rose Giannulli.

“When this whole cheating scandal came out, I’m not going to say I was surprised because we are in that world,” Brooks began, adding that she was going to “share a little bit of my tea.”

UPDATE: In a second video, Brooks revealed she only attended Olivia’s school for a week, and left because it wasn’t “a good fit” for her.

Brooks, now a high school senior, started her video by explaining that as she was starting her junior year, she moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in the same prestigious private school as the Giannulli sisters. “I remember when I was touring the school I saw a picture of Olivia Jade’s sister actually on the wall with the seniors and it was like, ‘Congratulations Bella for getting into USC!'” she said. “And I was like, Wow … USC is super hard to get into.”

“Then I remember hearing later that Olivia had also gotten into USC and I was like, Whoa, that’s kind of crazy because USC is very extremely hard to get into. So not only one sister, but both of them,” Brooks added.

Brooks went on to open up about the high-pressure environment students faced at the high school to get into the best colleges in the country.

“There’s a network of five to seven or so private schools in Los Angeles that are $30,000 to $45,000 in tuition every year. The work is literally harder than college. It is insane what these students go through to go to these schools because their parents think that they need to. They want them to go to Yale and Harvard and USC,” Brooks said.

Olivia Jade x Sephora Collection Launch
From left: Olivia Jade Giannulli, Lori Loughlin and Isabella Rose Giannulli. Gabriel Olsen/Getty

While she still attended the high school, Brooks said she found the curriculum intense, so she wondered how Olivia had the bandwidth to run a popular YouTube channel on top of all the classwork.

“I would have to get up at 6 a.m. every morning and I would leave school at 4 p.m. and then I would have six hours of homework,” Brooks, who had a class with Olivia and often saw her in the hallways, said. “It made me think, ‘How is she doing this?'”

“How does she travel for YouTube? How does she have time to make YouTube videos? An arrangement with the school or something?” she wondered. “It just didn’t make sense to me. These schools, your life is literally, 100 percent school.”

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Isabella Giannulli/Instagram

Olivia herself joked that she was “never at school” in a video she posted on her YouTube channel nearly a year before her parents were charged in the alleged college admissions cheating scam.

In the 9-minute clip from May 2018, the social influencer documented her last day of high school and her class’ senior prank. Ahead of her day, Olivia got ready in the bathroom where she revealed that attending class hadn’t been a top priority for her. “I’m, like, excited to go… do the school prank,” she said. “But I’m also literally never at school that I think my class doesn’t even — and maybe they forget I go there!”

She then let out a laugh and clarified, “I’m just kidding!”

The teen also faced backlash last year when she posted a video in which she said she was only interested in attending college for the parties. While answering fan questions, Olivia said she wasn’t sure how she planned to balance her social media career while taking classes as a freshman at the University of Southern California.

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Ollvia Jade, Lori Loughlin. Steve Granitz/WireImage

“I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all,” she said. “But I do want the experience of like game days, partying…I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”

She later apologized for the comments in a second video, admitting she was “disappointed” in herself.

“I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically. And it totally came across that I’m ungrateful 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’m really disappointed in myself.”

Her mother Loughlin and father Giannulli are among dozens charged in an alleged college admissions scam involving elite colleges and universities including Yale, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and Stanford.

Both Loughlin and Giannulli were arrested this week on a felony charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Giannulli appeared in federal court on Tuesday and was released after posting a $1 million bond. Loughlin made her first appearance in federal court on Wednesday in Los Angeles where a judge set her bond at $1 million, according to the Associated Press.

It’s unclear if Olivia was aware of the alleged scheme, and she was not charged. Her older sister, Isabella Rose, 20, is also enrolled at USC and was not charged.

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