The book detailed the alleged abuse that she experienced from her mother, Debbie, who died of cancer in 2013.
Jennette, who started acting when she was 8 years old, also claimed that her mom had pushed her into working at a young age so she could provide for the family.
While Jennette worked the audition circuit, her mom would hyperfixate on her “flaws” and take her on regular “maintenance trips” because she thought it’d help her land more roles.
Once Jennette hit puberty, she said that her mom would restrict her diet to keep her as small as possible. In fact, she alleged that Debbie would weigh her every Sunday and measure her thighs — also encouraging Jennette to drink sugar-free Red Bull and coffee to suppress her appetite.
When Jennette started dating in her late teens, her mom sent her slut-shaming emails and even blamed her when her cancer returned. But despite everything, Jennette was overcome with emotion when Debbie died.
In fact, it took a long time for her to come to terms with the fact that her mom was abusive toward her, and she even stopped seeing her therapist when they suggested that this was the case.
In addition to the way that her mom treated her, Jennette’s memoir chronicled her time working on the Nickelodeon series iCarly and Sam & Cat — which were both created by Dan Schneider.
Over the years, Dan has faced serious allegations about his behavior on set and in 2018 it was reported that Nickelodeon cut ties with him following an internal investigation that found evidence of verbal abuse toward his colleagues.
Jennette worked with Dan for six years from the age of 15, and revealed in her memoir that when she left the network she declined Nickelodeon’s offer of $300,000 “hush money” to stop her from speaking publicly about her experiences.
Referring to Dan as “The Creator” throughout her book, Jennette claimed that he supplied her with alcohol when she was under the legal drinking age in a bid to loosen her up.
She also said that she felt like she was sexualized while starring in iCarly and that she was photographed wearing a bikini during a wardrobe fitting. The Creator is also said to have forced Jennette to repeatedly reshoot her first onscreen kiss — which was also her first kiss ever — seven times despite her being visibly uncomfortable.
Jennette added that she was “terrified of being looked at as a sexual being” and recalled an incident when The Creator gave her a shoulder massage against her wishes.
I’m Glad My Mom Died ended up being a huge success and has received critical acclaim for the powerful and raw way that Jennette openly shares her experiences with readers.
Some other former child stars have also spoken out about the way that they related to Jennette’s book, including Drew Barrymore.
And last week, British actor Kaya Scodelario credited the memoir for helping her realize that she was also abused by her mother and “screwed” by the TV industry.
Kaya was 14 years old when she landed the role of Effy Stonem in the gritty TV show Skins, which aired between 2007 and 2013.
The groundbreaking series is infamous for its bleak subject matters, graphic sex scenes, and its depiction of young teenagers indulging in drugs and alcohol, with Kaya just one of the famous names to have cut her teeth on the show.
But in recent years, several former cast members have opened up about their negative experience on set, with some even saying that they are “victims of trauma.”
Kaya also spoke out last year, admitting that “safeguarding really wasnt a thing back then” and that starring as Effy caused her a lot of long-term “issues.”
Discussing the show on TikTok, one fan asked Kaya: “Do you think being on Skins affected your mentality at that age?” to which the star replied: “Yes. It was a beautiful time but also the deep rooted cause of a lot of my issues now. Still, it gave me the opportunity to do the job I loved.”
And now she has personally reached out to thank Jennette for “putting into words" something she's "never been able to” in a moving Instagram comment.
Jennette had shared a screenshot of her memoir still dominating the New York Times bestsellers list for the 20th week running. She wrote: “i never could’ve imagined the book would make this kind of impact. to know that literal millions (!!) of you have taken the time to read it and have connected with it so intimately… wow. i am deeply grateful.”
And Kaya, 30, took the opportunity to make her feelings known, posting in the comment section: “Jennette you don’t know me but I just wanted to say thank you so much for putting into words something I’ve never been able to.”
“Thanks to you (and an amazing therapist) I now see that I had an abusive mother and was screwed by the industry,” Kaya went on. “Your book made me laugh and cry in a way I’ve need to so badly for years.”
“Thank you. I’m sure writing it was triggering and stressful but I hope you are aware of how many people you have helped,” she concluded.
Kaya later called Jennette’s memoir “the most important book of a generation.”
Kaya did not share any further information about her relationship with her mom, Katia, but she has spoken about her in the past.
Katia moved to the United Kingdom from Brazil two years before Kaya was born, and largely raised her on her own. They moved to London when Kaya was 4 years old, and spent their first night sleeping on the streets before being given temporary accommodation.
Kaya’s mom had clinical depression and worked multiple jobs to make ends meet; in 2017, Kaya shared her dream of repaying her mom for all that she sacrificed for her.
“When I was growing up, we didn’t have much money. What was important in my house was to have food on the table, be happy and have our family,” she told the Mirror at the time. “I want to give a life back to her as she gave her whole life up for me.”
Kaya also said that her mom was “very strict” when she was growing up and that her depression strained their relationship.
“We lived in a council flat and I spent most of my time on estates. My mom was very strict. I used to hate it. But she didn’t want me to get pregnant like the people around me. I always knew about sex, about drugs,” Kaya said.
“She raised me alone and she suffered depression most of her life. It can be very dark, very difficult, especially as a teenager. It put a lot of pressure on our relationship,” she added. “I wanted to help but I was 16 and probably not saying the right thing.”
Meanwhile, Kaya’s fellow Skins alumni April Pearson and Laya Lewis were the first to give an insight into their “fucked up” experience on the show during a candid discussion on April’s podcast Are You Michelle From Skins? in 2021.
The two women admitted to feeling uncomfortable and unprotected during filming, and said that they were “too young” to be stripping their clothes on TV and shooting sex scenes.
They also reflected on the pressure that they were under to look a certain way, with Laya claiming that they were encouraged to skip meals before the female cast members were told to line up in their bikinis so that the showrunner could approve their bodies.
April added that almost every former cast member she’d spoken to felt the same way that she and Laya did. Last month, Jack O’Connell said that when he landed the role of Cook in Skins at 17 he was “very naive.”
Because of this, Jack explained that he accepted the sex and nudity as “part and parcel” of being on the show without stopping to question whether or not he was comfortable with it.
The actor went on to add that while he felt “very compromised” on Skins, the most important thing is that everybody learns from it so that the issues don’t happen again.
Skins was created by father and son Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain. When Laya's and April’s podcast episode was released in May 2021, Bryan’s rep said in a statement: “We’re deeply and unambiguously sorry that any cast member was made to feel uncomfortable or inadequately respected in their work during their time on Skins. We're committed to continually evolving safe, trustworthy and enjoyable working conditions for everyone who works in the TV industry."