"It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it," she said, while opening up about her past.
Jennette McCurdy is opening up about how being a child star in Hollywood has left her traumatized. The 30-year-old iCarly alum and author of the upcoming memoir I'm Glad My Mom Died shared that her mother, Debra McCurdy, did not shield her from the adverse effects of the entertainment industry while she was growing up.
"My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited," she told The New York Times. "It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it. There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn't know what they were doing. And also cases where they did — they knew exactly what they were doing."
McCurdy shared a couple of instances where her mom did nothing to protect her. Apparently, her mother did not intervene when she was served alcohol by an authority figure she refers to as the creator. On another occasion, her mom did not say anything when she was forced to do a bikini shoot while she was a teenager.
All she would tell McCurdy was that "Everyone wants what you have."
Jennette's brother Marcus McCurdy also revealed that their mother made their childhood difficult.
"You were always walking on eggshells — is it going to be nice mom or crazy mom today?" he said. "One day she'd be fine, the next day she'd be yelling at everybody. Every holiday was super overdramatic. She'd lose her mind on Christmas if something wasn't perfect."
However, not many people were aware of it, confirmed McCurdy's iCarly costar, Miranda Cosgrove. She didn't know her castmate was going through such troubles while they were filming, she added.
"When you're young, you're so in your own head," said Cosgrove, 29. "You can't imagine that people around you are having much harder struggles. You don't expect things like that from the person in the room who's making everyone laugh."
The child star has also been vocal about not pursuing a career in acting anymore. In a March 2021 conversation on McCurdy's Empty Inside podcast, she spoke about the unhappiness she experienced, despite being a successful star, according to PEOPLE.
"I was a famous 19-year-old, and making a bunch of money, and I felt like I had everything at my fingertips," McCurdy shared. "But I was deeply unhappy, and I actually really resented my life because I didn't like the projects that I was a part of."
"It's a difficult thing to say because the shows that I was on were so loved by so many people and so many kids, and I hear constantly, 'You made my childhood,'" she added. "And I think that's great that they had that experience. But that just was not my experience, and I felt a lot of shame — that I wasn't able to identify at the time — because I didn't like waltzing onto an over-lit, cheesy set and shouting a line. It felt so pointless and shallow."
However, McCurdy is now in a better place and she is focusing on finding her own path in the future.
"I think things should feel natural," she explained. "So much of my life was about forcing or pushing things. So when something feels like it's working, I'll let that be, and anything else can fall by the wayside."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Chelsea Lauren