Posted by on August 5, 2022 4:37 pm
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iCarly star Jennette McCurdy shares how her childhood was ‘exploited’

Miranda Cosgrove and Jennette McCurdy arrive at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello/ASSOCIATED PRESS

iCarly star Jennette McCurdy shares how her childhood was ‘exploited’

Cami Mondeaux August 05, 03:45 PMAugust 05, 03:45 PM Video Embed

Jennette McCurdy, one of the child actors who starred in the hit Nickelodeon show iCarly, is opening up about her rocky relationship with her mother and her experience being “exploited” by TV producers when she was just a teenager in a new memoir set to be released next month.

The book, titled I’m Glad My Mom Died, details McCurdy’s experience working as a child actor from the age of 6 while having her mother control almost every aspect of her life, such as telling her what to eat every day and shaving her daughter’s legs. She opens up about her struggles with anxiety and eating disorders that she experienced on set, blaming her mother and Nickelodeon for failing to protect her.

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“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” McCurdy told the New York Times. “It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it. There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing. And also cases where they did — they knew exactly what they were doing.”

McCurdy rose to fame when she was booked to play one of the lead characters on iCarly, which ran from 2007 to 2012. At the time, she was proud of the opportunity to make money to support her family, feeling a deep sense of loyalty to her mother, who had recovered from breast cancer when McCurdy was young, only to relapse at the height of her fame on Nickelodeon.

However, McCurdy endured several embarrassing moments while working for Nickelodeon, including times when she was told she had to be photographed in a bikini at a wardrobe fitting and when intimidating figures, whom she did not name, would urge her to drink alcohol. Despite being present in those situations, McCurdy’s mother failed to intervene — telling her daughter that was the price of fame.

“Everyone wants what you have,” she would say, according to McCurdy’s book.

Her mother died in 2013, just as McCurdy was stepping into a new role on the spin-off series Sam and Cat. However, McCurdy felt trapped, as she was prevented from pursuing outside work despite her co-star Ariana Grande thriving in extracurricular networking.

“What finally undid me was when Ariana came whistle-toning in with excitement because she had spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’s house,” McCurdy wrote. “That was the moment I broke.”

Sam and Cat ran for just one season, after which McCurdy stepped away from Nickelodeon. The network offered her $300,000 not to speak publicly about her experiences working on the shows, McCurdy wrote, but she refused.

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Although McCurdy had good friendships with people such as Miranda Cosgrove, who played the lead character in iCarly, her co-star said she was initially unaware of what McCurdy was going through when they were shooting the show.

“When you’re young, you’re so in your own head. You can’t imagine that people around you are having much harder struggles,” Cosgrove told the New York Times. “You don’t expect things like that from the person in the room who’s making everyone laugh.”

I’m Glad My Mom Died is set to be released on Aug. 9. Nickelodeon did not respond to a request for comment by the Washington Examiner.

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