Ahead of the premiere for the new season of Dancing with the Stars, the 47-year-old host defended the 21-year-old daughter of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli being cast on the ABC competition series.
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“I think Olivia is so brave. I think people don’t know her, they know what happened to her,” Tyra shared with Entertainment Tonight. “She has said that she did not know about what was going on and it’s really sad, and it’s very hurtful when something publicly happens but you had nothing to do with it. So I trust that she says she didn’t know.”
Lori and Mossimo both went to jail due to their involvement in the college admissions scandal where they paid $500,000 in brides to get Olivia and sister Isabella in to the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team, even though neither of then participated in the sport.
“She is having to deal with that and I think she’s coming to Dancing With the Stars to be able to tell her story and show her vulnerability,” Tyra continued. “And is she a celebrity? Not traditionally, but what is a celebrity today? If that’s the case then there’s no Instagram influencer that is a celebrity. We are in a whole different world and celebrity has taken a turn and a change.”
Tyra added, “If people are talking about you, you’re famous. And you can be on Dancing With the Stars.”
The new season of Dancing with the Stars will premiere on Monday, September 20th on ABC. Find out who else is competing this season!