With the revelations earlier this month that some wealthy parents, including celebrities like Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, had allegedly paid sizable bribes to get their children into elite universities, colleges have likely been on high alert while reviewing the applications of other celebrity spawn. But before you even start to wonder, Kimora Lee Simmons would like you to know that she pulled absolutely no strings to get her 16-year-old daughter, model Aoki Lee Simmons, into Harvard University.
On Thursday, when all eight Ivy League universities released their admissions decisions, the entire Simmons family took to Instagram to share their excitement over Aoki’s acceptance to Harvard, which, by all accounts, has been her dream school since childhood. In her Instagram Story, after showering her daughter in praise, a tearful Kimora seemingly poked fun at the celebs implicated in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal — some of whom allegedly faked resumés claiming that their children were being recruited for various schools’ crew and water polo teams — saying, “Quite honestly, she really did it on her own merit. We’re really so proud because, you know, Aoki can’t row or anything like that. There was really no hope for us in that.”
Russell Simmons, too, assured his own IG followers that he played no part in getting his daughter into college. “So blessed @aokileesimmons made it into HARVARD and Kimora Myself or Tim [Leissner, Kimora’s husband] didn’t have to pull any strings or pay anyone to get her in ? she made it on her own academic merit Aoki lee you are source of pride and inspiration to me, your whole family and the whole world at large As you know,” he captioned one of several posts paying tribute to Aoki’s accomplishments.
In her own post, Aoki echoed her parents’ joke—just to make sure everyone knows she really did get in on her own merit. “I’m only 16 and I’m going to Harvard baby! Insert emotional crying face. @kimoraleesimmons ‘thank god you got in on your own honey cause you can’t row’ ??? thank you so much to every single person who helped me along the way. I am excited and honored and so so grateful,” Aoki, whose Instagram profile already contains “Harvard ’23,” captioned a video of her younger brother reading her acceptance letter aloud.
Aoki’s older sister, Ming Lee Simmons, who attends New York University, was equally thrilled—and even put “Harvard 2023” in her own Insta bio in support. “This is an amazing accomplishment for anyone but especially for my sister. Growing up my sister always told me and others that she was going to go to Harvard. It was never a ‘maybe,’ the answer when people asked was just ‘I’m going to Harvard.’ For me growing up unsure of almost every move I made, that was an amazing thing to watch. To have someone so close to me have their mind set on something and to work so hard for it,” she captioned a video of Elle Woods’s iconic Harvard Law School application video, adding: “I think this is one of my highest accomplishments, if not my highest one…you going to Harvard.”
Although, Dr. Dre did also make the same joke as the Simmons about his daughter’s acceptance to USC recently on Instagram, writing, ““My daughter got accepted into USC all on her own. No jail time!!!” He then had to delete the post when it was pointed out that Dr. Dre, along with his business partner Jimmy Iovine, made a $70 million donation to USC in 2013 to create the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. So, let’s hope there’s not a building with the Simmons name on it waiting to be built in Cambridge, MA.