‘Baby Reindeer’: Alleged Real-Life Martha Sues Netflix for $170 Million: ‘Biggest Lie in Television History’

Fiona Harvey says creator Richard Gadd sought to “viciously destroy” her life

Baby Reindeer Real Martha
Fiona Harvey/Jessica Gunning in "Baby Reindeer" (Credit: TalkTV/Netflix)

Fiona Harvey, the Scottish woman who came forward recently as the so-called “real Martha” portrayed in “Baby Reindeer,” has filed a $170 million defamation suit against Netflix.

The lawsuit begins with the tag from the series, “This is a true story,” and goes on to say that the onscreen statement is “the biggest lie in television history.”

The complaint continues, “It is a lie told by Netflix and the show’s creator Richard Gadd, out of greed and lust for fame” and that he and the streaming platform sought to “viciously destroy” her life. It further states that Harvey is “an innocent woman” who has been defamed “at a magnitude and scale without precedent.”

Gadd, who based the hit show on his own experiences with being stalked, is not named in the suit.

A Netflix spokesperson told TheWrap via email, “We intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story.”

In the series, Martha, who is played by Jessica Gunning, becomes fixated on Gadd’s character Donny and begins stalking him, sending him hundreds of texts and emails, sexually assaulting him and physically assaulting the woman Donny is dating. The character is eventually sent to jail for her crimes.

Harvey previously told Piers Morgan that, unlike the character, she had never been convicted of a crime or served time.

Netflix is accused of “[doing] literally nothing” to confirm the facts of Gadd’s story and thus committing “a very serious misrepresentation of facts.”

Citing Donny’s behavior in the series, she also blasts Gadd as a “self-admitted crack, meth and heroin user” who lied to the police about his contact with her.

Harvey says her “life has been ruined” due to Gadd’s “malfeasance and utterly reckless conduct” and that he and Netflix “destroyed her reputation, her character and her life.” The suit goes on to state that “the real Martha is reasonably understood to have done all these monstrous things because Netflix and Gadd stated this was true.”

“Baby Reindeer” debuted all seven episodes on April 11. The limited TV series was originally staged by Gadd as a one-man show in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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