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What happened to Jennette McCurdy? iCarly actress opens up on dark side of being a child star in revelatory memoir 

Jennette McCurdy is set to publish her tell-all memoir highlighting the challenges she faced as a child actor (Image via Philip Cheung/Getty Images)
Jennette McCurdy is set to publish her tell-all memoir highlighting the challenges she faced as a child actor (Image via Philip Cheung/Getty Images)
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Barsha Roy

Former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy is all set to publish her revelatory memoir titled I'm Glad My Mom Died that will explore the complicated relationship she shared with her mother as well as her dark experiences of being forced into becoming a child star.

In her book, the actress revealed how her mother controlled her life and career from a young age, which caused her to live in “constant anxiety, shame, and self-loathing.”

jennette mccurdy’s book “i’m glad my mom died” out august 9th! we shall be reading of her exposing her mother, dan schneider and nickelodeon. https://t.co/tuAgsyFpWF

Jennette McCurdy, who is best known for playing the role of Sam Puckett in the teen sitcom iCarly, has also opened up about her struggles with eating disorders, addiction, and unhealthy relationships in her memoir.

The actress also noted that her issues got worse after her mother passed away shortly before she appeared in the 2013 iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat. However, McCurdy started undergoing therapy which helped her deal with the situation better.


A look into excerpts from Jennette McCurdy’s upcoming memoir

Jennette McCurdy's book 'I’m Glad My Mom Died' will be release on August 9 (Image via Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/
Jennette McCurdy's book 'I’m Glad My Mom Died' will be release on August 9 (Image via Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/

In an exclusive excerpt of I'm Glad My Mom Died obtained by Entertainment Weekly, Jennette McCurdy opened up about an audition from her childhood that made her extremely uncomfortable:

“I'm sitting in the waiting room mustering up all my sadness when something shifts in me. It feels strange. I don't know how to describe it, but I know, my gut knows, that the tears aren't gonna come. I feel detached, disconnected, and then irritated.”

She also spoke about suffering emotional trauma from the audition and wrote:

“This has never happened before, but it's happening now and it's scaring me. A part of me is resisting my mind forcing this emotional trauma on itself. A part of me is saying, "No. It's too painful. I'm not doing this.”
Jennette McCurdy memoir I'm Glad My Mom Died comes out next week and I'm ready to sob my eyes out https://t.co/vRg9O1yac4

Jennette McCurdy then mentioned how she continued to act and perform against her own desire only to comply by her mother’s wishes:

“That part of me is foolish. That part of me doesn't realize that this is my Special Skill, that this is good for me, for my family, for Mom. The more I can cry on cue, the more jobs I can book; the more jobs I can book, the happier Mom will be. I take a deep breath, then smile up at Mom.”

The actress also recalled how she failed to perform well at the audition and attempted to tell her mother that she did not like acting, only to leave the latter disappointed:

“‘I don't want to act anymore’ I say before I even realize I've said it. Mom looks at me in the rearview mirror. A mixture of shock and disappointment fills her eyes. I immediately regret saying anything.”

She also shared that her mother immediately turned hysterical, made her feel guilty and compelled her not to quit acting:

“She bangs on the steering wheel, accidentally hitting the horn. Mascara trickles down her cheeks. She's hysterical, like I was in the Hollywood Homicide audition. Her hysteria frightens me and demands to be taken care of... ‘Never mind,’ I repeat. ‘Let's just forget I said anything. Sorry.’”
Longtime Nickelodeon show creator Dan Schneider is trending thanks to @JennetteMcCurdy’s new memoir titled “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” Her book details Schneider’s inappropriate behavior towards her and that Nickelodeon tried to pay her to stay silent. (📸: @JennetteMcCurdy) https://t.co/OQ8YMHa2Ud

A second excerpt from the book highlighted the moment McCurdy bagged Sam's role in iCarly. She shared that she felt “elated” not because of her own happiness but for the fulfillment of her mother’s dreams:

“I jump into Mom's arms. She squeezes me. I'm elated. Everything's going to be different now. Everything's going to be better. Mom will finally be happy. Her dream has come true.”
8 days ~ if you want a signed copy of my book, order here: premierecollectibles.com/mom . promotion ends soon

Jennette McCurdy’s tell-all memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, will reportedly hit the shelves this month, starting August 9.


Jennette McCurdy on her experiences as a child artist

Jennette McCurdy in a still from 'iCarly' (Image via Lisa Rose/Getty Images)
Jennette McCurdy in a still from 'iCarly' (Image via Lisa Rose/Getty Images)

Prior to the release her memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy conducted a one-woman dark comedy show of the same name in 2020. The former actress spoke to People about her show last year and revealed how her mother Debbie McCurdy abused her during her childhood:

“My earliest memories of childhood were of heaviness, and chaos. My mom's emotions were so erratic that it was like walking a tightrope every day. The mood fluctuations were daily.”

She also shared how her mother forced her to take up acting from a tender age only to fulfill her own suppressed dreams:

“My mom had always dreamt of being a famous actor and she became obsessed with making me a star. I felt like my job was to keep the peace. And I wanted to make my mom happy.”
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McCurdy told the publication that she was only 10 years old when her mother bleached her hair and whitened her teeth, and was just 11 years old when she started “calorie counting.” She said that the practice later caused her to develop eating disorders.

The actress shared that she was suffering from anorexia when she bagged her role in iCarly and later developed the condition of binge eating and bulimia. She further added that she would still suffer from eating disorders if her mother had been alive:

“I know if my mom were alive, I'd still have an eating disorder. It was only distance from her that allowed me to get healthy.”

Jennette McCurdy further opened up about her painful experiences as a child actor on her podcast Empty Inside and shared that she was “ashamed” and “embarrassed” of the roles she played in the past:

“My experience with acting is, I’m so ashamed of the parts that I’ve done in the past. I get that this answer is super unlikable and it’s like, ‘Oh, boo-hoo, you were famous when you were a kid. Oh, cry me a river.’ But it is true to me, so that’s the most I can offer.”

She added:

“I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most just like cheesy, embarrassing.”
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McCurdy mentioned that she was partly embarrassed of being a Nickelodeon star because she wasn't fulfilled or satisfied with her work:

“I did the shows that I was on from like 13 to 21, and by 15, I was already embarrassed. My friends at 15 weren’t like watching the show. They’re not like, ‘Oh, cool, you’re on this Nickelodeon show.’ It was embarrassing. I imagine there’s a very different experience to be had with acting if you’re proud of your roles and if you feel fulfilled by them.”

The actress then shared that she decided to quit acting because she realized she never wanted to act and was forced to take up the job by her mother as she was the primary source of income in the family:

“I quit a few years ago because I initially didn't want to do it. My mom put me in it when I was 6 and by sort of age, I guess, 10 or 11, I was the main financial support for my family. My family didn't have a lot of money, and this was the way out, which I actually think was helpful in driving me to some degree of success.”
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Jennette McCurdy appeared on all six seasons of iCarly between 2007 and 2012 and reprised her role as Sam Puckett for the spinoff Sam & Cat. However, she officially confirmed her retirement from acting in 2017 and did not star in the Paramount+ reboot of iCarly.


Edited by Prem Deshpande
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