Olivia Jade Gave Her First Interview About the College Admissions Scandal
“I’ve never gone that long without [talking to my parents]. I’m super close with my parents, especially my mom. She’s, like, my best friend, so it’s definitely been really hard not being able to talk to her. But I know she’s strong and I know it’s a good reflection period. I’m trying to look at the positives in situations, you know? I know it’s a positive. She’s in there right now, and she gets to really rethink everything that happened—kind of figure out when she comes out what she wants to do with what she’s learned through all of this. I think that hopefully will be a blessing in the end.”
“I’m not trying to victimize myself. I don’t want pity, I don’t deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like, ‘I recognize I messed up.’ For so long I wasn’t able to talk about this because of the legalities behind it. I never got to say, ‘I’m really sorry that this happened,’ or, ‘I really own that this was a big mess-up on everybody’s part,’ but I think everybody feels that way in my family right now.
“I’ve felt mostly embarrassed and ashamed of everything that’s happened. Things I’ve lost. I guess just from looking as an outsider, you could say I lost brand deals, I lost followers or whatever it was—but I really felt most moved by the fact that we did all of this and were so ignorant. I feel like a huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege.
“When it was happening, it didn’t feel wrong. It didn’t feel like, ‘That’s not fair, a lot of people don’t have that.’ I was in my own little bubble focusing about my comfortable world. I never had to look outside of that bubble.”
On being misunderstood:
“I also felt very misunderstood. The picture that has been painted of me, I feel like it’s not who I am. I’m not this bratty girl that doesn’t want to change anything. Also, I understand why people are angry, and I understand when people say hurtful things. I think I had to go through the backlash and the stuff because when you read it, you realize that there’s some truth in it. I understood that people were upset and angry and maybe it took me a little bit longer to understand what for. But man, am I glad I did realize what for. Better late than never.”
On white privilege:
“I understand that just based on my skin color, I already had my foot in the door, and I was already ahead of everybody else. Going forward, I do want to do stuff to change that. I had a cool experience a few weeks back where I went downtown in the Watts area, and I got to work with some kids in this after-school program. It kind of just shifted my whole mentality because when I was sitting with them and talking to them, they all were so little, but they were so grateful for that education…. I was watching them and thinking about my situation and I took all of that for granted. I didn’t think that I was lucky to have that. I just expected it.”
On whether she was angry when the scandal first happened:
“To be honest, I wasn’t angry. And I think it’s because I didn’t have a good understanding of what just happened. I didn’t see the wrong in it. One hundred percent, honestly, when it first happened, I didn’t look at it and say, ‘Oh my God, how dare we do this?’ I was like, ‘Why is everybody complaining? I’m confused what we did.’ And that’s embarrassing to admit.”
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