Brooks, who is currently a senior, no longer attends Marymount All Girls Catholic High School (in fact, she was only there for a week before deciding it was not a good fit) but spent enough time there to give some perspective on Giannulli's situation. Specifically, the fact that her parents allegedly bribed her way into the University of Southern California and pretended she was a recruit for the school's crew team.
There were red flags even in high school that caused Brooks to question the influencer, with whom she says she shared a class.
“I would have to get up at 6:00 a.m. every morning and I would leave school at 4:00 p.m. and then I would have six hours of homework,” Brooks explained. “It made me think, ‘How is she doing this?'”
Brooks said she took easier classes than most and still barely had time outside of school and homework to do anything else, whereas Giannulli had a thriving YouTube channel.
“How does she travel for YouTube?" Brooks asked aloud in the video. "How does she have time to make YouTube videos? An arrangement with the school or something? It just didn’t make sense to me. These schools, your life is literally, 100% school."
Plus, Giannulli did not keep her distaste for school a secret.
“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,” Giannulli revealed in a YouTube video about her future at USC, before the scandal broke. "I do want the experience of like game days, partying. I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.”
While her brief overlap with Giannulli is just Brooks' opinion, it corroborates the bigger picture of how privilege affords students opportunities not given to others.
"People are always questioning how minorities got into colleges when maybe we should question mega-rich people who don't deserve to be at the colleges," Brooks added but stressed that she hoped Giannulli is doing okay since we still don't know how aware she was of her parents' alleged actions.
Olivia Jade and Harlow Brooks, please collab.
Brooks did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.