Jennette McCurdy is still dealing with the emotional aftermath of the complicated relationship with her overbearing mom and life as a child star.
In a new interview on “The Louis Theroux Podcast,” McCurdy discussed intense details from her best-selling memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.”
McCurdy spoke about how her mother would shower her until she was 17 or 18 and would “be in the shower with me shampooing and conditioning my hair, washing my body.”
“She would give me breast and vaginal exams in the shower and said that she was checking for lumps, just checking for cancer,” the now 31-year-old recalled.
She noted her mother would be clothed, “but it was uncomfortable for me. I knew it felt violating for me. And I knew I didn’t want it, but the one time I had attempted to even say, ‘Hey, do you think I could shower myself?’ She flew into hysterics, and it just became clear to me, ‘Oh, I can’t ever try to shower myself again.’”
JENNETTE MCCURDY RECALLS HER MOM SAYING SHE WAS ‘ALL USED UP’: ‘WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GOOD LITTLE GIRL?’
McCurdy’s mother, Debbie, allegedly only stopped when she physically was unable to be with her daughter due to treatment for her cancer, and McCurdy went on tour.
The actress and author got her start as a child actor and became well known for starring in the Nickelodeon series “iCarly” and “Sam & Cat,” which also starred Ariana Grande.
As for why her mother chose to force McCurdy to let her shower her, she could only speculate.
“I think it’s the fear of me growing up. It’s body monitoring,” she said.
McCurdy’s mother passed away from cancer in 2013 when the star was just 21 years old.
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During the interview, McCurdy explained how deeply entangled she was with her mother, going back to when she was very young and was first developing breasts.
“It had always been really clear to me that my mom did not want me to grow up, not just for acting, but it also felt like her worth was tied up in me being young,” McCurdy recalled. “With me being young, she had something to do. She felt good. Me growing up kind of felt like her loss of purpose.”
She remembered asking her mom if she could stop her physical development, and that’s when she says her mom introduced her to calorie restriction at age 11, which eventually led to an eating disorder for McCurdy.
“She weighed me daily, and she measured my thighs with a measuring tape,” McCurdy said. “She taught me what diuretics were, and we would read calorie books together and constantly were just in this, kind of as partners in crime, and it felt amazing.”
“I’m aware now of how warped it is,” she added, but explained that although it made her feel close with her mom, it led “to a really arduous relationship with food.”
McCurdy suffered from anorexia and bulimia, the latter of which is still giving her issues with her teeth to this day.
She revealed that she has to frequently visit the dentist because “the acidity in your stomach fluids just wears down your enamel and basically rots your teeth.”
McCurdy continued, “I actually lost a tooth at one point in an airplane bathroom, and it smells, and it’s awful, and it is a real low point for me.”
Thankfully, McCurdy says she’s in a better place when it comes to her relationship with food.
“I consider myself fully recovered,” she said.
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