Search icon


07th Jun 2024

‘Real-life Martha’ from Baby Reindeer sues Netflix for €155 million in damages

Nina McLaughlin

The lawsuit claims the show “destroyed her reputation, her character and her life.”

The woman behind the infamous Martha character from the hit Netflix series Baby Reindeer is suing Netflix for €155 million in damages, for defamation, negligence and privacy violations.

Scottish lawyer Fiona Harvey is claiming the show told “brutal lies” about her, via BBC.

She says that the show’s depiction of her as a convicted criminal is untrue, and she’s looking for over $170m (€155m) in the lawsuit, which was filed in court in California.

She claims Netflix “did literally nothing” to confirm the show’s creator Richard Gadd’s story was true.

Harvey also denies the show’s claim that she sexually assaulted Gadd.

She alleges Netflix “told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money”.

Netflix has said they will “defend this matter vigorously”, and stand by Gadd’s right to “tell his story”. Gadd is not named as a defendant on the lawsuit.

In a sit-down interview with Piers Morgan last month, Harvey said she knew Gadd when he was working at a London pub. However, she said her behaviour was not the same as that of Martha in the show, who sends the protagonist 41,000 emails and leaves 350 hours of voicemail messages .

Jessica Gunning played the intense ‘stalker’ Martha in the show, and fans were quickly able to find the real-life woman just hours after the show premiered on Netflix.

Gadd plays a version of himself in the show and detailed his real-life experience of being stalked and sexually assaulted for four years by a customer of the pub where he worked.

Since the show’s release, Harvey – the alleged woman behind the character of Martha – has rubbished much of Gadd’s side of the story and discredited a lot of the events that are depicted in the show.

The show has been submerged in controversy since its release on the 11th April.

Speculation has been relentless regarding the true identity of the character of Darrien, a successful TV writer who appears in the fourth episode of the series and proceeds to groom Gadd over a series of meetings before sexually assaulting him on several occasions.

This was followed by reports from Deadline which claimed that Gadd himself was questioned by producers on the show after he allegedly dated a transgender actress who auditioned for a role.