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Jennette McCurdy Describes Serious Abuses That Occurred On Iconic Nickelodeon Sets

The following article contains mentions of verbal and emotional abuse, eating disorders, alcoholism and addiction, and child abuse

A Washington Post profile of former Nickelodeon child star Jennette McCurdy includes details of unnerving patterns of abuse during her time on the children's network that McCurdy opens up about in her upcoming memoir titled "I'm Glad My Mom Died." According to the piece, McCurdy, who starred in popular Nickelodeon shows "iCarly" and "Sam & Cat," suffered abuse both from her mother and a higher-up at the network referred to only as "The Creator." 

During her time on Nickelodeon, McCurdy says her mother, Debra, was an abusive, all-present force in her life who heavily restricted her diet, leading the young actor to struggle with anorexia and later, bulimia. Meanwhile, on the set of "iCarly," McCurdy details frequent verbal abuse from The Creator, whom she remembers as "mean spirited, controlling, and terrifying." McCurdy recalls he would scream in her face, and she also details verbal abuse he meted out to others involved in the show.

McCurdy additionally alleges that on multiple occasions, The Creator would give her unwanted shoulder rubs and that he pressured her to drink alcohol when she was still 18. After multiple verbal abuse allegations, McCurdy says The Creator was even banned from interacting with actors and was relegated to a side room while on set. "It was really unfortunate, everything that happened in a children's television series environment. It really seems like there's not much of a moral compass there," McCurdy states.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

McCurdy's past is painful, but she is finding her way forward

In the Washington Post profile, Jennette McCurdy notes that she's largely recovered from her eating disorders, and now has a better relationship with alcohol than she did during those dark years of her life. Her mother's death in 2013 turned out to be a wake-up call that led her to make major life changes for the better. McCurdy says she forced herself to begin attending therapy, saying, "Coming to terms with the reality of what my life had been was not simple. It was not painless. It was through consistent work and exploration that it became freeing and healing."

McCurdy has stepped away from acting in recent years, with her last significant project being the Netflix series "Between" that ran from 2015 to 2016. Meanwhile, McCurdy told the Post that her former co-star Miranda Cosgrove contacted her about starring in the 2021 "iCarly" revival for the Paramount+ streaming service, but that she didn't hesitate to say no. Explaining her decision to turn down the "iCarly" reboot, McCurdy says, "That time of my life was so drenched in the baggage of not wanting to be there, of my mom, of the environment that I was in — I'd like to be able to have a little bit more peace with that."

Although the details Jennette McCurdy offers of her time as a child star are harrowing, it sounds as though she is working to heal and move forward.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).