The Alleged Real-Life Martha Of ‘Baby Reindeer’ Has Sued Netflix For A Staggering Amount Of Money

Baby Reindeer remains a huge hit for Netflix, although fairly soon after Richard Gadd’s semi-autobiographical series began streaming, a woman named Fiona Harvey came forward to take umbrage with the limited series. Harvey then gave an interview to Piers Morgan and continued to allege that she had been defamed by the Scottish comedian’s brainchild.

In the show, Donny’s trauma culminates with being stalked by the Martha character as portrayed by Jessica Gunning. Gadd did ask people to stop speculating about the identity of the real-life Martha and Darrien characters, and only a few days after that statement, Harvey spoke with the Daily Mail and accused Gadd of “bullying an older woman on television for fame and fortune.” She claimed to be “the victim” and threatened to sue Gadd and Netflix. She has now made good on that threat where Netflix is concerned while “alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and violations of Harvey’s right of publicity.”

Via Variety, Harvey is asking the court for damages of $170+ million:

“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,” her complaint says. “Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money.”

Variety posted a link to Harvey’s legal filing, which further reads, “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.”

Gadd has been upfront about how, unlike Martha in Baby Reindeer, his real-life stalker was not incarcerated. In an interview with The Times, he called the matter “resolved” and added, “I didn’t want to throw someone who was that level of mentally unwell in prison.” He has not commented upon Harvey’s lawsuit, nor has Netflix.

However, the Netflix series does begin with a title card calling Baby Reindeer a “true story,” although the show actually differs (and Gadd has admitted this) a significant amount, factually speaking, from his real-life experiences. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Gadd declared, “I would say the broad strokes are very much true.” He then added, “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.”

Baby Reindeer is currently streaming on Netflix.

(Via Variety)