Jennette McCurdy Says She Was Offered ‘Hush Money’ By Nickelodeon, Details Moment With Ariana Grande That ‘Broken Her’


Earlier iCarly star Jennette McCurdy makes several startling allegations against Nickelodeon in her new book, I’m glad my mom passed away. (Photo: Philip Cheung for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Earlier iCarly star Jennette McCurdy has made significant allegations against Nickelodeon ranging from not having the same privileges as her Sam & Kat co-star Ariana Grande to a “gift” of $300,000 if she agreed never to talk about her experiences at the famous children’s network.

An excerpt published by Vanity Fair from McCurdy’s New Memoirs, I’m glad my mom passed away, went into detail about McCurdy’s experience as a rising TV star. An unnamed man, also known as “the Creator,” is said to have pressured McCurdy to drink when she was a minor, and gave her massages. Although “the Creator” is not mentioned in the book, iCarly was notoriously the brainchild of Dan Schneider, who was under investigation by ViacomCBS prior to his departure from Nickelodeon in 2018.

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McCurdy claimed that “the Creator” had a two-faced personality that included a “generous and overly complementary” side, as well as a “mean, controlling, and terrifying” side that made “grown men and women cry with his insults and humiliation.”

Although “the Creator” later had significant repercussions for his behavior at the network, McCurdy wrote that she was told she would receive the $300,000 “thank you” as long as she agreed never to talk publicly about her experience at Nickelodeon. In the end, she chose not to accept it.

“What the f**k? Nickelodeon is offering me $300,000 to hush money for not talking publicly about my experience on the show? My personal experience with The Creator’s abuse?” wrote McCurdy. “This is a network of shows for kids. Shouldn’t they have some sort of moral compass? Shouldn’t they at least try to report according to some sort of ethical standard?”

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While McCurdy was promised a iCarly spin-off, the program eventually became Sam & Katin which she co-starred with Grande, who reprized her role from the series victorious. But while Grande was allowed to pursue work opportunities outside of the program, executives told McCurdy she couldn’t.

“What finally undone me was when Ariana came over to whistle excitedly because she’d been playing charades at Tom Hanks’ house the previous night. That was when I broke down,” McCurdy wrote in the memoir.

McCurdy described other incidents on the network, including how she felt embarrassed when she was pictured in a bikini during a wardrobe fitting. When she voiced her concerns to her mother, she was told to deal with them because “everyone wants what you have.”

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That reaction was only part of the complex relationship with her late mother. While she has struggled with the regular life, she has also spoken about how her home life has been very challenging.

“My earliest childhood memories were heaviness and chaos,” McCurdy said People in 2021, saying she witnessed some serious physical fights at home between her parents. “My mother’s emotions were so erratic that it was like walking a tightrope every day. The mood swings were daily.”

Though the actress was terribly shy, she said her mother “always dreamed of becoming a famous actor and became obsessed with making me a star.” That included checking and checking her food. At the time, McCurdy suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and anxiety.

“I know if my mother was alive I would still have an eating disorder,” McCurdy said. “It was only the distance from her that allowed me to get healthy.”


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