Former Nickelodeon child star Jennette McCurdy has alleged that Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 in order to stop her from speaking out against her experiences while on set.
Now aged thirty-one, the former iCarly star has opened up following the release of her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, where she opens up about her career as a child actress and her complicated relationship with her mum.
In the book, she details how someone on the show’s team, who she calls ‘The Creator’, mistreated her, and has recently opened up further on the topic.
McCurdy opened up while as a guest on The Louis Theroux Podcast.
She said: “I will say the environment I was in for making children’s television shows was undeniably toxic and aspects of it were undeniably abusive. And I don’t think I realised it because those were the environments where I spent most of my time.
“I knew that sets beforehand had felt somewhat different […] there’d been a different vibe, but I’d certainly been on tense set environments before, but it was just by far the most intense, the most extreme.
“And afterwards I really realised how unhealthy it was.”
Theroux also questioned McCurdy about online speculation involving Dan Schneider, who was the creator of iCarly. Schneider has faced multiple allegations, including from Zoey 101‘s Alexa Nikolas, who claimed he sat in on dress fittings when she was just twelve years old, and took pictures of the feet of child actors. Schneider has denied the allegations.
“I had a lot of friends on Disney Channel shows – I was on Nickelodeon – and it seemed like everyone kind of knew of the Creator,” McCurdy shared, without confirming the identity of ‘The Creator’ from her memoir.
“Everyone knew rumours about him, everybody seemed to know the kind of sets that he ran.”
She went on to discuss how ‘nasty’ it felt when Nickelodeon allegedly approached her offering $300,000 to stay quiet about her experience on set.
“The way I see it now is like I think it was just moral righteousness. And then sort of almost instantly after saying though I’m not taking the money, I felt like that’s a lot of money,” she shared.
By the time she was offered the money, ‘The Creator’ was no longer allowed on set, and instead had to watch the goings on from a soundproof room.
“[I] think they were just worried about something getting out,” McCurdy said.
“I think it was to the point where it was enough. People knew about this – there was enough speculation, there were enough people who had been in the presence of it that I think they were just like, ‘We got to do something about this’.”
During the podcast, she also revealed that her mum showered with her until she was ‘seventeen or eighteen years old’.
“She would give me breast and v***nal exams in the shower and said that she was checking for lumps, she was just checking for cancer,” she said.
“I knew it felt violating for me. And I knew I didn’t want it, but the one time I had attempted to even say, ‘Hey, do you think I could shower myself?’ she flew into hysterics,” McCurdy explained, adding that as a result it “became clear” that she would not try to shower alone again.
She explained her reasoning for why her mum did what she did: “I think it’s the fear of me growing up. It’s body monitoring.”
She continued: “It had always been really clear to me that my mom did not want me to grow up, not just for acting, but it also felt like her worth was tied up in me being young.
“With me being young, she had something to do. She felt good. Me growing up kind of felt like her loss of purpose.”
McCurdy suffered from anorexia and bulimia, and has discussed how her mum controlled her diet and weight.
“She weighed me daily, and she measured my thighs with a measuring tape. She taught me what diuretics were, and we would read calorie books together and constantly were just in this, kind of as partners in crime, and it felt amazing,” she said.
Reflecting on the situation now, the former actress describes the situation as “warped”, and now describes herself as “fully recovered” from her eating disorders.