iCarly alum Jennette McCurdy never wanted to be a child star. She never wanted to be an actress.
That was the dream of her abusive mother, Deb, whose death gave Jennette the title of her memoir: I’m Glad My Mom Died.
That book, in which Jennette recalls a childhood of exploitation and trauma, has been an instant success.
Now, she is discussing the book’s contents, and reading aloud a monstrously cruel email that her mother once sent her.
Once you have described a lifetime of sexual abuse from your mother and recalled an incident in which she chased your dad with a knife, it’s hard to shock people.
But it is not impossible. A parent’s cruelty is varied, and can be so much worse than people want to believe.
On this week’s Red Table Talk, Jennette told Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield Norris all about it.
In 2012, Jennette was just 18 years old. It was the year before her mother, Deb, passed away.
Jennette was dating an older man. Her mother discovered the romance, and sent her an eimal.
As you can see in this clip, it began simply: “I am so disappointed in you.”
“‘You used to be my perfect little angel, but now you are nothing more than a little’ — all caps — ‘SLUT,’” Jennette read.
“‘A floozy, all used up,’” she read aloud.
Her mother’s email continued: “‘And to think you wasted it on that hideous ogre of a man.’”
“‘I saw the pictures on a website called TMZ,’” Jennette read. Awkward. “‘I saw you rubbing his disgusting hairy stomach.’”
“‘I knew you were lying about Colton.’ [I had told her I was with a friend, Colton],” she read and explained.
Deb wrote: “Add that to a list of things you are: liar, conniving, evil.’”
“‘You look pudgier too,’” Jennette read from her mother’s email.
Deb then accused: “‘It’s clear you are eating your guilt.”
Jennette’s mother was, of course, the architect of her years of disordered eating. The body-shaming only ended when Deb did.
Unfortunately, the email continued, branding Jennette as an “ugly monster.”
Deb also wrote: “Thinking of you with his ding-dong inside of you makes me sick. I raised you better than this.”
Jennette has previously shared that her mother referred to her vulva as her “front butt” during mandatory genital exams. These exams, during showers, lasted until Jennette was 17.
We hate to call anything a “punchline,” even if Jennette can look upon this horror with some humor.
But the end of that email, in which Deb tells her that she is no longer her daughter, ends with a request.
She wanted Jennette to buy her a new refrigerator, as her current one had broken.