iCarly star Jennette McCurdy says Nickelodeon offered her 'hush money' over alleged abuse
Years removed from her time on the Nickelodeon series iCarly and Sam & Cat, former child star Jennette McCurdy has a lot to say about the experience. EW recently published excerpts from her upcoming memoir I'm Glad My Mom Died, in which McCurdy writes that getting a lead role on a TV show was really her late mother's dream, not her own. In another excerpt published this week by Vanity Fair, McCurdy describes harassment she says she endured from a male boss she refers to only as "The Creator" — and the money Nickelodeon allegedly offered her to stay quiet about it.
McCurdy writes that "The Creator" offered her her first taste of alcohol when she was only 18 years old, at a private dinner they were having ahead of the launch of Sam & Cat, an iCarly spin-off on which she costarred with Ariana Grande. At this same dinner, McCurdy says, "The Creator" gave her his coat and massaged her without consent.
"My shoulders do have a lot of knots in them, but I don't want The Creator to be the one rubbing them out," she writes. "I want to say something, to tell him to stop, but I'm so scared of offending him."
The excerpt then jumps ahead a year, to the final days of Sam & Cat, when McCurdy was drinking so much alcohol that her body broke out in puffy welts every time ("doesn't matter to me, the buzz is worth the welts"). By this point, she says, "The Creator" was barred from interacting with actors on set by the network following "accusations of his emotional abuse."
At her next meeting with her team of agents and attorneys, McCurdy says, she was overjoyed to hear of Sam & Cat's cancellation — but disturbed to hear that Nickelodeon was offering her $300,000 as a thank-you gift, because "that doesn't sound like Nickelodeon." Told by her team that the only condition of the money was that she never talk publicly about her experiences with Nickelodeon and "The Creator," McCurdy refused what she calls "hush money."
"What the f---? Nickelodeon is offering me three hundred thousand dollars in hush money to not talk publicly about my experience on the show?" she writes. "My personal experience of The Creator's abuse? This is a network with shows made for children. Shouldn't they have some sort of moral compass? Shouldn't they at least try to report to some sort of ethical standard?"
Representatives for Nickelodeon did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
I'm Glad My Mom Died will be released Aug. 9. Read the full excerpt at Vanity Fair.