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Sneak Peek: Jennette McCurdy’s Book Reveals The Horrors of Having A Stage Mother

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It’s not easy being a child celebrity but it’s a lot worse when a stage mother like Jennette McCurdy’s gets involved.

Jennette McCurdy rose to fame as Carly’s cool but brash, and wisecracking friend, Sam Puckett, on Nickelodeon’s iCarly. However, the recent release of her book “I’m Glad My Mother Died” reveals a darker side to the industry. Although Hollywood already has a lot of skeletons in its closet, some skeletons extend all the way to the family as the rays from the limelight get brighter and harsher.

“I’m Glad My Mother Died”: Why would Jennette McCurdy say something like that?

Statements like that are often not without merit. McCurdy writes her story in both a hilarious and heartbreaking way, revealing how much her mother, Debra McCurdy, was a stage mother. “My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” she reveals in an interview with The New York Times. “It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it.”

On-screen, she looked like she was living every kid’s dream being cast by one of the biggest kids’ show studios. Before her stint on the popular show iCarly, she revealed how her mother often guilt-tripped her and subjected her to harsh things. She even had her take at least 14 dance classes and demanded she lands at least two background roles. Things got worse when Jennette showed signs of maturing. Jennette also reveals that Debra forced her to go on a 1,000-calorie-diet to help halt ‘puberty’. She recalls in chilling detail how she stood by her comatose mother’s bedside in the ICU, remembering what she said in hopes of having her wake up:

“Mommy. I am … so skinny right now. I’m finally down to eighty-nine pounds.”

Jennette McCurdy
Jennette McCurdy

Anxiety and a nearly lifelong battle with Insecurities and Abuse

Besides the guilt-tripping, Debra McCurdy would often subject Jennette to “breast and butt” exams. Debra frequently rationalized it as a way to find cancer, leaving Jennette to do nothing but freeze in fear of her lashing out despite feeling violated. But in reality, Debra did this to make sure Jennette would always have roles available. The mother herself dreamed of being “famous” and forced Jennette to live out that dream for her. Even though the former child celebrity expressed no wishes to become an actress.

Besides her mother, she mentions someone abusive known as The Creator. He forced her to do things such as drink alcohol, wear a bikini, and many other uncomfortable things. According to many, this was most likely Dan Schneider, the creator of iCarly, who eventually received a slew of complaints of emotional abuse and verbal abuse. Soon, more people began to question him due to his “abrupt leaving”.

Many former Nickelodeon stars also started coming forward about the abuse.

Where and how is Jennette McCurdy now?

It’s been a horrifying trip for former child celebrity Jennette McCurdy but things are turning out for the better. Now a writer and podcaster, she started a podcast known as “Empty Inside” where they dive deep into heavy topics. Topics such as therapy, jealousy, eating disorders, and many other taboo topics help others pull themselves out of their dark place.

Jennette McCurdy
Jennette McCurdy

The trauma can last a lifetime

No child should ever have to go through that kind of abuse. While parents do have unfulfilled dreams, that’s no excuse to shove them on their kids. Although it does leak, parents should catch it before it gets worse. Debra McCurdy used her Stage 4 Breast Cancer as an excuse to control Jennette via guilt-tripping. It’s a long and tiring fight but it’s better to admit when one’s hurting their children than trying to find out reasons why it’s okay to hurt their kids.

Her book is currently available on different platforms.

Trauma from families or the industry? Here are some stories on how others dealt with it:

Maxene Magalona Gets Real About Childhood Trauma and Its Effects on Adulthood
How To Break Generational Curses and Trauma
Being Family is Not a Free Pass to Be Toxic