The "iCarly" star continues to drop bombshell after bombshell.
Jennette McCurdy joined Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Gammy (Adrienne Banfield Norris,) to talk about the contents of her recent memoir, I'm Glad My Mom Died, in the season premiere of Red Table Talk.
The Facebook Watch show, which is known for getting candid about provocative social and cultural issues from the comfort of the Smiths' own home, returned for its new season on Wednesday, Sept. 7, with former child actress McCurdy as their guest. The first episode of the Emmy-winning show's current season, called "How Jennette McCurdy Survived Her Mom's Abuse," has been advertised as the first in-depth interview the iCarly star has given about the years she spent being manipulated, exploited and abused by her mother. Given how in-depth the book already was, the elaboration is basically bombshell after bombshell.
The women spoke about everything from how McCurdy developed her various eating disorders throughout her adolescence to her grandmother's inability to respect her boundaries to the dangerous environment McCurdy and her siblings were raised in, which has an unbelievable number of factors at play.
McCurdy spoke about some of the more overt ones in her book, including her mother's hoarding habits and how she'd frequently chase her father out of the house, but opened up even further with the Smith family this week.
She divulged that all of the kids had to sleep on the living room floor, using trifold mats purchased at Costco as their beds, thanks to their bedrooms becoming stockpiled with junk.
McCurdy said that this was a result of her mother's breast cancer diagnosis, which first came when the author was just two years old. "She had a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomy, implant. It was stage 4. It was a really brutal time for our family, and, you know, I was two, so my earliest flashes of memories are of a household that was very weighted in tragedy. My grandparents moved in with us during my mother's illness, and my mother– as a result of her cancer, she became a hoarder," McCurdy said. "Because she was so close to seeing her fate, she suddenly attached meaning and significance to the tiny—I mean she'd say, 'Well, you touched that Kleenex, so I need it.'"
Everything the kids had ever touched quickly piled up and "overwhelmed" the house, causing it to feel like "a place of chaos and of turmoil and turbulence," rather than a home. McCurdy explained in her book that one of the first things she bought herself was a bunkbed to sleep in, which was placed in her grandparents' room, but it wasn't long before it, too, was overtaken by her mother's belongings.
But the sheer amount of stuff—and the hazards that accompanied it—weren't the only risk. The woman would also frequently chase McCurdy's father out of the house with a steak knife, or whatever else could be quickly weaponized.
"My mom would be chasing my dad around the house with a literal steak knife, and he'd say, 'Deb, you have to get help. You have to get a handle on this. You can't be doing this.' She wouldn't. She didn't want to change or couldn't face that she needed to change, and then, eventually in therapy, after just sort of sharing stories of my relationship with my mom, they suggested that she might have had some combination of bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. Maybe all three," McCurdy shared with the Smiths. "...that was a frequent situation. There were many, many versions of the steak knife and other tools. She would grab sort of whatever was on hand."
McCurdy also revealed that her neighbor, Bud, would often come knocking during their fights, threatening to call the authorities, but McCurdy's mother was always able to bribe him out of doing so with a box of candy.
Between this new interview and the memoir, it's shocking to hear how many people failed McCurdy. There were so many opportunities for somebody to intervene, and not one came to fruition.
You can watch the full interview on Facebook. McCurdy's memoir is also available for purchase now, and you can hear her read the audiobook herself.