The actress has opened up about her abusive mother, eating disorders and her relationship with co-star Ariana Grande
For a generation of young adults, the Nickelodeon shows iCarly and Sam & Cat were must-watch TV shows.
Who is Jennette McCurdy — and what exactly did she say in her memoir?
Who is Jennette McCurdy?
Jennette McCurdy, 30, is a former child star who appeared in several Nickelodeon series between 2007 and 2014.
She had the greatest success with the TV series iCarly and Sam & Cat – in the latter she starred together with the singer Ariana Grande.
Since leaving Nickelodeon, she has appeared in several TV shows and films, including the Netflix drama Between, the 2016 horror film Pet, and the teen comedy Little Bitches.
McCurdy has officially retired from acting and turned to writing and directing, developing several short films in the late 2010s.
Outside of the film world, she wrote and starred in the one-woman tragic comedy I’m Glad My Mom Died, based on her experiences with an abusive mother — a show she’s since turned into her memoir.
She also has a podcast called Empty Inside and writes occasionally for The Wall Street Journal.
What is iCarly?
iCarly is a Nickelodeon show that featured Jennette McCurdy between 2007 and 2012.
It centers around a vlogger named Carly Shay (played by Despicable Me and School of Rock actress Miranda Cosgrove) and has had global success.
McCurdy played Carly’s best friend, Sam Puckett – a character she also played on the show Sam & Cat, which was a spin-off of iCarly and another Nickelodeon show Victorious.
iCarly returned on Paramount Plus with Miranda Cosgrove in 2021, but McCurdy did not reprise her role.
What does Jennette McCurdy say in her new book?
Jennette McCurdy published a memoir based on her theater show in August 2022.
“I’m Glad My Mom Died” covers her relationship with her mother, her career at Nickelodeon, and multiple allegations of abusive behavior brought against her by her mother and a TV executive.
Jennette McCurdy’s mother
Jennette McCurdy’s memoir revolves around her manipulative relationship with her mother.
The child actress reveals she was pushed into acting by her mother, who dreamed of being a star herself.
Far from being supportive, however, Debra McCurdy has been described as abusive towards her daughter.
She began restricting Jennette’s calories from a young age and even encouraged her to become anorexic at age 11, McCurdy claims in her book.
The resulting eating disorder became so severe that she lost a molar tooth on an airplane to frequent vomiting associated with bulimia.
She also describes how her mother insisted on showering her until she was 16 – a routine that included washing her hair, shaving her legs, and routine breast and vaginal exams.
Jennette McCurdy’s mother, Debbie, died of complications from breast cancer in 2013.
I’m Glad my Mom Died also covers Jennette McCurdy’s time at Nickelodeon.
She refers to a man known only as “The Creator,” who she claims was an “evil, controlling, and terrifying” person who fired children for minor mistakes and adults “with his insults and humiliation.” made me cry.
In a disturbing passage, McCurdy alleges that this individual performed an unsolicited shoulder massage and also pressured her into drinking alcohol despite being under the legal drinking age in the United States.
This man was eventually banned from the set by Nickelodeon due to allegations of emotional abuse.
She also writes that due to her mother’s manipulation, she felt unable to confide in her fellow actors.
The memoir also covers McCurdy’s relationship with co-star Ariana Grande while filming Sam & Cat.
She claims her career was held back by Nickelodeon while Grande’s career was allowed to thrive as she was not given time off the set to take on film roles while Grande was able to pursue her outside pop career.
When the series was canceled after just 36 episodes, McCurdy claims Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 (£248,000) in hush money not to speak about her experiences, particularly in relation to The Creator.
Nickelodeon has not publicly responded to McCurdy’s allegations.