Former actress Jennette McCurdy is opening up about her harrowing experiences as a child actor at Nickelodeon.
McCurdy played Sam Puckett on the iconic “ICarly” series for five years. She then went on to star in the “Sam And Cat” spinoff for one year.
Although she was a fan favorite, her life behind the scenes wasn’t too happy.
In a recent publication with the New York Times ahead of her new book, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” McCurdy claimed to have been exploited while on the show and paid to stay silent about it. She also shared that she was photographed in a bikini and encouraged to drink alcohol as a child actor.
Read on for more details about her stunning revelation.
Jennette McCurdy ‘Was Encouraged To Drink Alcohol’
According to a New York Times profile published this week, the former child star shared that she was photographed in a bikini and encouraged to drink alcohol by an unidentified person she called the “Creator.”
McCurdy also claimed to be exploited and mentioned that there were moments “where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing.”
During those times, McCurdy shared that her mother Debra never intervened. She downplayed those incidents, claiming they were part of the Hollywood experience. “Everyone wants what you have,” Debra allegedly said.
“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” McCurdy shared with the outlet. “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.”
She Wasn’t Allowed To Star On Other Acting Gigs While On The Show
Following the end of “ICarly,” McCurdy was promised a spinoff, which she thought would be a solo show. However, she was paired with Ariana Grande for the spinoff, “Sam And Cat,” which ran for one season.
While McCurdy was on the show, she was not allowed to pursue other acting roles. However, the same couldn’t be said of her co-star, Grande.
“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 recalled. “That was the moment I broke.”
Miranda Cosgrove, McCurdy’s co-star on “ICarly,” mentioned that the pair were friends while filming the show, but she was unaware of what her co-star was facing.
“When you’re young, you’re so in your head. You can’t imagine that people around you are having much harder struggles. You don’t expect things like that from the person in the room who’s making everyone laugh.”
Jennette McCurdy Was Paid $300,000 As Hush Money
She also shared that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 for not publicly speaking about her experiences at the network.
“They’re giving you $300,000, and the only thing they want you to do is never talk publicly about your experience at Nickelodeon,” a manager at Nickelodeon told McCurdy at the time.
She admitted to turning down the money “immediately and instinctively,” instantly calling the network out for the alleged bribe.
“What the fuck? Nickelodeon is offering me $300,000 in hush money to not talk publicly about my experience on the show?” She continued, “This is a network with shows made for children. Shouldn’t they have some sort of moral compass? Shouldn’t they at least try to report to some sort of ethical standard?”
She Had A Complicated Relationship With Her Mom
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In another excerpt published by Entertainment Weekly, McCurdy shared her relationship with her mother, which could explain the memoir’s puzzling title. According to her, her mother controlled her career trajectory and this caused her a lot of anxiety.
She wrote about an audition where she was “sitting in the waiting room mustering up all my sadness when something shifts in me. It feels strange.”
When the audition didn’t go as planned, she told her mom of her decision to quit acting. However, her mom’s reaction was hysterical.
“You can’t quit! This was our chance!” She also shared that she continued acting to keep her mom happy.
“I jump into Mom’s arms. She squeezes me. I’m elated,” McCurdy wrote of getting the ICarly role. “Everything’s going to be different now. Everything’s going to be better. Mom will finally be happy. Her dream has come true.”
McCurdy’s mum later died in 2013 following a battle with breast cancer.
“I’m Glad My Mom Died” will be released on August 9.
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