“We are sooo super proud of YOU!!” fashion designer Lee Simmons gushed below in an Instagram video of Aoki Lee Simmons listening as her little brother Kenzo reads her acceptance letter out loud. “Such hard work and only 16! You did it! It took years of super dedication and lots of tears! But HERE YOU ARE!!! GO GIRL!!!”
The proud parents could have left it at that, but it was apparently hard to avoid a reference to the college admissions cheating scandal that’s enveloped other celebrities and wealthy parents.
Recording and fashion entrepreneur Russell Simmons chimed in that neither he, his ex-wife, nor Aoki’s stepdad, Tim Leissner, pulled any strings to get the teen into the elite university. “She made it on her own academic merit,” Simmons wrote on Instagram.
And Lee Simmons couldn’t resist a direct dig at “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin’s predicament after she was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe her two daughters’ way into college.
On an Instagram in which Aoki beamed, “I’m going to Harvard baby!” her mother commented in the caption: “thank god you got in on your own honey cause you can’t row 😂😂😂” Lee Simmons repeated a variation of the joke in a video on her Instagram stories, adding that Aoki got accepted “on her own merit.”
That, of course, was a not-so-subtle reference to Loughlin and her husband allegedly paying $500,000 so their daughters could fraudulently gain entry into USC as crew recruits.
Celebs bragging about their kids’ academic exploits following the indictments have backfired. Rob Lowe deleted a comment about his “honest” Stanford and Duke graduate sons after he got backlash. Earlier this week, Dr. Dre boasted on Instagram that his daughter got into USC on her own, but deleted the post over blowback because he and a producer had donated $70 million to the school years earlier.