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Baby Reindeer’s ‘real Martha’ sues Netflix for £132 million

Baby Reindeer’s ‘real Martha’ sues Netflix for £132 million

Fiona Harvey claims the character of Martha from Baby Reindeer is based on her

Fiona Harvey, the woman who has been dubbed 'real life Martha', is suing Netflix for $170 million (£133 million).

Baby Reindeer told the story of Donny Dunn (portrayed by Richard Gadd playing a fictionalised version of himself), and his experience with stalking at the hands of Martha Scott (Jessica Gunning).

Gadd has said that he was stalked by a woman, but told GQ: "We've gone to such lengths to disguise her that I doubt she would recognise herself in the show.”

After the show became a huge success, many viewers attempted to locate the character's real-life counterparts - despite Gadd's insistence not to do so.

Gunning also urged people not to attempt to find out Martha's true identity.

After being found by internet sleuths, Harvey came forward claiming that the character of Martha had been based on her and did an controversial on-screen interview with Piers Morgan on 9 May.

A lawsuit was filed in a California court yesterday (6 June) and alleged that Netflix told 'brutal lies' about Harvey, who is suing the streaming platform for alleged defamation, negligence and violation of her right of publicity, including that she is a 'twice convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison'.

Jessica Gunning stars as Baby Reindeer's Martha Scott. (Netflix)
Jessica Gunning stars as Baby Reindeer's Martha Scott. (Netflix)

The lawsuit said that Harvey has 'never been convicted of any crime and has never been to prison'.

As per the court documents, she also denies sexually assaulting Gadd, further claiming that Netflix 'told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money'.

A scene from the show portrays Martha sexually assaulting Donny in a canal towpath.

A disclaimer is also shown in the end credits which says that the show 'is based on real events: however certain characters, names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes'.

The lawsuit further 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.

"It never investigated whether Harvey was convicted, a very serious misrepresentation of the facts."

Fiona Harvey was interviewed by Piers Morgan. (TalkTV)
Fiona Harvey was interviewed by Piers Morgan. (TalkTV)

It also claimed that Netflix 'did nothing to understand the relationship between Gadd and Harvey, if any', adding: "It did nothing to determine whether other facts, including an assault, the alleged stalking or the conviction was accurate."

As per ITV, Harvey is seeking actual damages and compensatory damages at 50 million dollars (£39 million) each, punitive damages at 20 million dollars (£16 million) and 'all profits' from Baby Reindeer at 50 million dollars (£39 million).

In a statement to ITV, Netflix said: "We intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story.”

Gadd has not been named as a defendant in the lawsuit, however.

Tyla has contacted Netflix and Gadd's representatives for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/YouTube/@piersmorganuncensored

Topics: Netflix, Baby Reindeer, News, TV And Film