Lori Loughlin's YouTube-famous daughter, Olivia Jade, is now hearing from her former classmates.
Loughlin is one of the famous faces charged in the college admissions bribery scandal. She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly agreed in July 2016 to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for getting their two daughters into the University of Southern California as purported crew athletes, even though neither was an athlete.
Now, a student Olivia Jade went to high school with in Los Angeles says it all makes sense to her.
“When this whole cheating scandal came out, I’m not going to say I was surprised because we are in that world," says YouTube lifestyle and beauty blogger Harlow Brooks, who is currently a senior in high school.
Though Brooks no longer attends the "super-elite" private school Olivia Jade and her sister, Bella, attended, she did for one year when she first moved to Los Angeles from Northern California.
Brooks describes a high-pressure, materialistic culture where students drove Range Rovers and Porsches to school.
“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. And 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. Because they want them to go to Yale and Harvard and USC,” Brooks said in a video that now has over 2.4 million views.
The pressure on students to succeed is extreme, says Brooks, revealing that her classmates were so stressed "that they were taking Adderall, on antidepressants (and took) anti-anxiety" medications.
All of that factors into why Brooks says she so puzzled to see that both of Loughlin's daughters got into USC. She remembers speculating at the time it was "because their mom's a celebrity or maybe she donates a lot of money."
The teen remembers being surprised Olivia could juggle her YouTube persona and a hefty amount of schoolwork at the all-girls school.
“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,” says Brooks, who recalls having a class with Olivia Jade, describing her as "nice" and "pretty."
“It made me think, ‘How is she doing this?' … I was like, 'How does she travel for YouTube? How does she have time to make YouTube videos? An arrangement with the school or something? It just didn’t make sense to me."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Olivia Jade's former classmate describes 'super-elite' school with 'insane' expectations