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Tyra Banks supports Olivia Jade's casting on Dancing with the Stars

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Tyra Banks believes Olivia Jade is very "brave" for signing up to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

The 47-year-old host of the dancing competition show issued a statement to Entertainment Tonight, where she explained her admiration for the social media star and declared her right to participate in the programme.

"I think Olivia is so brave. I think people don't know her, they know what happened to her," Tyra stated. "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."

The comments refer to Olivia's role in the 2019 U.S. college admissions scandal. During the bombshell case, it was revealed that the 21-year-old's parents, actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 (£361,700) in bribes to get the social media star and her sister Isabella into the University of Southern California. The scam required the sisters to take photos that saw them pose as members of the crew team, a sport neither participated in. Olivia has since denied knowledge of what the photos were for and claimed she didn't know her parents had bribed admissions officials to get her into the school.

"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," the supermodel 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. If people are talking about you, you're famous. And you can be on Dancing with the Stars."

Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars premieres in the U.S. on 20 September.

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