On the first episode of her new podcast Conversations with Olivia Jade, the 22-year-old influencer, who is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars, said she believes "cancel culture" is prevalent in her generation, highlighting the mental health toll online backlash can have on the person who is the target of the internet's ire.
Olivia's parents, actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli were both sentenced to prison after pleading guilty in May 2020 to the charges against them stemming from the scandal. According to a criminal complaint, the couple paid $500,000 to Rick Singer and Key Worldwide Foundation to falsely designate their daughters, Olivia and her older sister Isabella Rose Giannulli as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, though neither ever participated in the sport.
Loughlin, 57, started her prison sentence in October 2020 and served nearly two months before she was released from the federal correctional facility in December. Giannulli, meanwhile, was booked into federal prison on Nov. 19 and was released from home confinement in April, marking the end of his five-month sentence.
Olivia broke her silence on the scandal for the first time last December during an appearance on Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk, saying at the time, "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.' "
Speaking with a psychologist on her podcast Sunday, Olivia admitted she dreads talking about the scandal, fearing she'll be "canceled again" for saying the wrong thing.
"I'm so hesitant to talk about it because of the trauma ... of like, 'Gosh, if I say this or it comes off kinda the wrong way, am I gonna get canceled again?' It really does leave an impression in one's mind," said Olivia. "I get so nervous, and I feel like I walk on eggshells when I talk, just because I don't wanna say the wrong thing. And I wanna make it clear to people listening that I'm not trying to victimize myself...."
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Olivia explained that she realizes "how different of a person I've become because of" her experience, admitting, "and not entirely in a good way sometimes," meaning she is "way harder on myself" as a result.
The YouTuber added, "I'm so scared of looking up my name and something bad is happening and I'm the face of it and it's going to be this big thing that blows up in my face again. ... People who have experienced it, even if it's in a different capacity, it's like you live your life a little bit differently, in my opinion, and you just kind of shut down."
"You kinda start to believe what people are telling you: You don't deserve a second chance, there is no room for growth," she continued. "Not to sound super dark, but how do you bounce back then? Because I wanna be alive, I still wanna grow up. ... It's like 'don't exist anymore.' "
RELATED VIDEO: Olivia Jade Giannulli Says She's 'Not Proud' of Her Past: 'I Wish I Could Go Back in Time'
Last month, Olivia told PEOPLE (the TV Show!), "Obviously I'm not proud of the past," noting, however, that she's "still young" and "believes in second chances."
"I want to keep evolving as a person, and I think sometimes it takes kind of difficult situations and mistakes and stuff that we're really not proud of to do that," she said at the time. "Obviously I wish I could go back in time and kind of do a lot of stuff, but I think it's kind of important to me now to just keep learning and see where the world takes me."