US

Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Olivia Jade Was on USC Board Member’s Yacht When Mom Was Charged

By Zachary Stieber

The 19-year-old daughter of actress Lori Loughlin was on board a yacht owned by a top official at the University of Southern California when her mother and father were indicted in a nationwide college bribery scheme, the official confirmed.

Olivia Jade Loughlin, a YouTube star, spent the night on the yacht, which is owned by Rick Caruso, the chairman of the college’s board of trustees.

The yacht was anchored in the Bahamas.

Along with the girl, Caruso’s daughter, Gianna, and several other friends were spending spring break together, reported TMZ.

Caruso, a billionaire who owns a number of properties, told the outlet: “My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government’s announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, the young woman decided it would be in her best interests to return home.”

Actress Lori Loughlin poses with her daugthers
(L-R) Olivia Jade Giannulli, actress Lori Loughlin, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at the 2019 An Unforgettable Evening in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Olivia Jade and Loughlin’s other daughter, 20-year-old Isabella, are both in Los Angeles now, reported the Daily Mail.

Due to the bribery accusations, their status at the college is up in the air, with the final decision on whether to expel her and her sister left up to the university’s president.

“Applicants in the current admissions cycle who are connected to the scheme alleged by the government will be denied admission to USC. We are going to conduct a case-by-case review for current students and graduates that may be connected to the scheme alleged by the government,” USC said in a statement sent to news outlets on Wednesday, March 13. “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.”

(USC)

USC’s interim President Wanda Austin sent a letter to students, parents, and staff on Tuesday. She told the Los Angeles Times that the university was barring about six current applicants connected to a firm run by William Singer—who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the scheme in federal court this week.

“The fact is we were chagrined to discover we had employees committing fraud against the university,” Austin said. “Our response is we are an ethical university and we are holding all of our members to that standard.”

Federal authorities charged 33 parents in the scheme. Prosecutors said that some of the children were aware of the bribes while others were not.

With other schools, Singer relied on athletic coaches, who he passed along bribes to in exchange for them listing his clients’ children as recruits in order to facilitate their entry into colleges. With USC, he utilized an administrator, Donna Heinel, along with water polo coach Jovan Vavic.

Lori Loughlin
Actress Lori Loughlin (L) appears in this court sketch at a hearing for a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., on March 13, 2019. (Mona Shafer Edwards/Reuters)

According to the FBI (pdf), Homayoun Zadeh, chair of the periodontology department at the school, turned to Singer for help getting his own daughter into the school, paying him $100,000, some of which he passed to Heinel, who then used the school’s letterhead to build a fake lacrosse profile for Zadeh’s girl.

Loughlin, who surrendered on Wednesday and posted a $1 million bail to be released pending trial, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who was released on bail on Tuesday, bribed Singer $500,000 to get Olivia Jade and Isabella into USC, FBI officials said.

Messages obtained by agents outlined how Giannulli and Loughlin were both involved in the scheme, which involved passing their daughters off as recruits to the crew team despite them never being part of the sport in high school and never participating after arriving at the university.

Giannulli was slated to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29 and Loughlin will now appear in the same court on the same day.