Who is Jennette McCurdy? iCarly star’s career - Nickelodeon allegations in I’m Glad my Mom Died book explained
The actor has spoken out about her abusive mother, eating disorders and her relationship with co-star Ariana Grande
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For a generation of young adults, Nickelodeon shows iCarly and Sam & Cat were must-see TV.
So who is Jennette McCurdy - and what exactly has she said 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 saw the most success with TV series iCarly and Sam & Cat - the latter of which she co-starred in with the singer Ariana Grande.
Since leaving Nickelodeon, she has appeared in several TV shows and films, including Netflix drama Between, 2016 horror film Pet and teen comedy Little Bitches.
McCurdy has officially retired from acting, and has moved into writing and directing, developing several short films in the late 2010s.
Outside of the film world, she wrote and performed one-woman tragicomedy show I’m Glad My Mom Died based on her experiences of having an abusive mother - a show she has since turned into a memoir.
She also has a podcast called Empty Inside and occasionally writes for the Wall Street Journal.
What is iCarly?
iCarly is a Nickelodeon show Jennette McCurdy appeared in between 2007 and 2012.
It centres on a vlogger called Carly Shay (who is played by Despicable Me and School of Rock actor Miranda Cosgrove) and became successful across the globe.
McCurdy played Carly’s best friend Sam Puckett - a character she also played in the show Sam & Cat, which was a spin-off of iCarly and other Nickelodeon show Victorious.
iCarly returned with Miranda Cosgrove on Paramount Plus in 2021 but McCurdy did not reprise her role.
What does Jennette McCurdy say in new book?
Jennette McCurdy published a memoir based on her theatre show in August 2022.
I’m Glad my Mom Died covers her relationship with her mother, her career at Nickelodeon and several allegations of abusive behaviour directed at her by her mum and a TV executive.
Jennette McCurdy’s mother
Jennette McCurdy’s memoir centres on her manipulative relationship with her mother.
The child actor reveals she was thrust into acting by her mum, who had dreams of being a star herself.
However, far from being supportive, Debra McCurdy is described as being abusive towards her daughter.
She began restricting Jennette’s calories from an early age and even encouraged her to become anorexic at the age of 11, McCurdy claims in her book.
The eating disorder she developed as a result became so severe that she lost a molar in an aeroplane as a result of frequent vomiting associated with bulimia.
She also details how her mother insisted on giving her showers until the age of 16 years old - a routine that included washing her hair, shaving her legs and performing routine breast and vaginal exams.
Jennette McCurdy’s mother Debbie died in 2013 as a result of breast cancer.
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 a “mean-spirited, controlling, and terrifying” person who would fire children for minor errors and reduce adults to tears “with his insults and degradation”.
In one disturbing passage, McCurdy claims this person provided an unsolicited shoulder massage and also pressured her into drinking alcohol despite her being under the legal drinking age in the US.
This man was eventually excluded from being on set by Nickelodeon as a result of emotional abuse allegations.
She also writes that she felt unable to confide in her fellow actors given her mother’s manipulation of her.
The memoir also covers McCurdy’s relationship with co-star Ariana Grande during the filming of Sam & Cat.
She claims her career was held back by Nickelodeon whilst Grande’s was allowed to flourish, as she was not given time off set to take up film roles whereas Grande was able to pursue her external pop career.
When the series was cancelled after just 36 episodes, McCurdy alleges Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 (£248,000) in hush money to not talk about her experiences, particularly in relation to ‘The Creator’.
She declined the offer.
Nickelodeon has not publicly responded to the allegations McCurdy has made.