Fmr Nickelodeon star says network offered her $300k in hush money: ‘Knew exactly what they were doing’

Former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy has written a memoir accusing the network of exploiting her childhood and adolescence and offering her $300,000 to keep quiet about inappropriate conduct toward her.

(Video Credit: Entertainment Tonight)

In “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” which is slated for release next Tuesday, McCurdy, 30, is candid about her experiences as a child actor.

She started acting when she was only six years old. When she turned 15, McCurdy landed a role on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” which aired from 2007 to 2012.

The child star told The New York Times that she faced exploitation from every angle.

The actress asserts that her mother, Debra, controlled every facet of McCurdy’s life, pushing her to land roles in order to financially provide for the family. She says her overbearing mother and the television industry were both to blame, as they “failed to protect her.” McCurdy has since stepped away from acting to refocus on her life.

“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited. 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,” she told the New York Times.

Her book contends that while she worked at Nickelodeon, she was subjected to numerous indignities that included being photographed in a bikini during wardrobe fittings and being encouraged to drink underage by someone connected to the network. McCurdy refers to that person as “The Creator” in her book. She did not reveal who that is, but some posit it could be ousted Nickelodeon executive Dan Schneider.

Schneider was the creator of both of McCurdy’s shows. He unexpectedly left the network in 2018 after allegations of abuse surfaced.

Just before he resigned, the network conducted an internal investigation into Schneider. A number of his coworkers described him as “abusive” according to the New York Times.

Some of the people who worked on Schneider’s shows claim that his friendliness toward young actors was strange for a powerful, middle-aged showrunner. A number of them asserted that he frequently spent time during the work day interacting with young fans online and texting child actors after work. They requested to speak anonymously for fear of reprisal.

Schneider has repeatedly denied any allegations of abuse or wrongdoing.

“I never interacted with actors in any way, texting or otherwise, that should make anyone uncomfortable,” he told the New York Times.

When she left the network in 2014, following starring in a spinoff of “iCarly” called “Sam & Cat,” she claims that Nickelodeon offered her “$300,000” in exchange for her silence regarding “experiences at the network.”

McCurdy turned down the offer, even though her team told her it was “free money,” according to her memoir.

“No, it’s not. This isn’t free money. This feels to me like hush money… I’m not taking hush money,” she declared.

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

“I lean back against the headboard of my bed and cross my legs out in front of me. I extend my arms behind my head and rest them there in a gesture of pride. Who else would have the moral strength? I just turned down $300,000,” she continued.

McCurdy’s mother passed away from cancer in 2013, freeing the young actress at last from her control. She felt she could now go out and rebuild her life.

The young actress also hosts the podcast “Empty Inside.” She has hosted numerous child actors and given them a place to reveal their experiences of exploitation and recovery.

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