Alleged Real-Life Martha of ‘Baby Reindeer’ Sues Netflix

Baby Reindeer, the semi-autobiographical series created by Richard Gadd, has become a significant hit on Netflix. However, the series has sparked controversy following allegations made by a woman named Fiona Harvey. Harvey has publicly expressed grievances regarding the portrayal in the show and has taken legal action against Netflix and Gadd.

Allegations and Public Statements

The series features a character named Martha, portrayed by Jessica Gunning, who stalks the protagonist, Donny. Shortly after the series began streaming, Harvey spoke with the Daily Mail and accused Gadd of “bullying an older woman on television for fame and fortune.” She claimed to be defamed by the series and threatened to sue both Gadd and Netflix.

Harvey’s legal complaint includes allegations of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and violations of her right of publicity. According to her complaint, “The lies that Defendants told about Harvey to over 50 million people worldwide include that Harvey is a twice-convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison, and that Harvey sexually assaulted Gadd,” adding that these alleged falsehoods were perpetuated for financial gain.

Gadd’s Perspective

Richard Gadd has been open about his experiences, stating in an interview with The Times that, unlike Martha in Baby Reindeer, his real-life stalker was never incarcerated. He referred to the matter as “resolved” and expressed reluctance about imprisoning someone who was mentally unwell. Neither Gadd nor Netflix has commented on Harvey’s lawsuit since it was filed.

Claims of Truth and Fiction

The Netflix series begins with a title card calling Baby Reindeer a “true story,” although Gadd has acknowledged that the show differs significantly from his real-life experiences. In an interview with Vanity Fair, he noted that while the broad strokes of the story are true, there are factual deviations. Gadd stated, “I would say the broad strokes are very much true. I was a bartender, I was a struggling comedian. I was dating Terry and indulging Martha and coming off the back of sexual trauma, so it’s all pretty close.”

Legal Proceedings

Fiona Harvey’s legal filing, available via Variety, further elaborates on the alleged damages. The document claims, “As a result of Defendants’ lies, malfeasance and utterly reckless misconduct, Harvey’s life had been ruined. Simply, Netflix and Gadd destroyed her reputation, her character and her life.” Harvey is seeking damages amounting to over $170 million.

Wrapping Up

Baby Reindeer continues to stream on Netflix despite the ongoing legal battle. As the case unfolds, it remains a point of interest for viewers and legal experts alike. For more updates on entertainment news, visit HitPlay.

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