Alleged Real-Life ‘Baby Reindeer’ Inspiration Says She’s the One Being Stalked: ‘I’m Being Bullied for Fame’

While copping to a number of the Netflix show’s details, she says she never owned a toy baby reindeer

Jessica Gunning as Martha in "Baby Reindeer"
Jessica Gunning in "Baby Reindeer" (Credit: Netflix)

The Netflix miniseries “Baby Reindeer” became a surprise hit following its release earlier this month, telling the story of a struggling standup comic who offers kindness to a woman at a pub — who then responds with intense stalking.

A woman, 58, who claims she is the real-life figure who inspired the fictionalized character “Martha” in “Baby Reindeer,” told the Daily Mail that writer-director Richard Gadd is “bullying an older woman on television for fame and fortune.”

While inspired by real life, with the lead character based on Gadd, it’s not a documentary. Gadd has described it as “lightly fictionalized” and told GQ, “We’ve gone to such great lengths to disguise her to the point that I don’t think she would recognize herself.”

But he then asked the public to stop trying to guess who may or may not have inspired the story, writing on Instagram, “Please don’t speculate on who any of the real-life people could be. That’s not the point of our show.”

Plenty of viewers aren’t listening, with the unnamed woman saying that she’s received “death threats and abuse from Richard Gadd supporters” online.

“He’s using ‘Baby Reindeer’ to stalk me now,” she told the Mail. “I’m the victim. He’s written a bloody show about me.”

The unnamed woman noted that, like the character on the show, she is Scottish, studied law, is around 20 years older than Gadd and uses extremely sexual language in both speech and writing. She also, like the character, has a history of stalking covered in the press.

She was less sure about how much she resembles the actress playing her, Jessica Gunning, though the Mail asserted that the woman “bears an uncanny physical resemblance” to the character on the show.

“She sort of looks like me after I put on four stone during lockdown but I’m not actually unattractive,” the woman told the Mail.

Gadd previously claimed to have received tens of thousands of emails, hundreds of hours of voicemails and more unwanted communication from the older woman who inspired “Baby Reindeer.” Before the Netflix series, he had turned the main story into a 2019 one-man show that sold out its run at the famed Edinburgh Fringe festival.

While the anonymous woman admitted to some of the show’s details, she denied being a stalker, telling the Mail that Gadd “has got ‘main character syndrome.’” She also noted that the key detail that gives the show its title isn’t true.

“I’ve never owned a toy baby reindeer and I wouldn’t have had any conversation with Richard Gadd about a childhood toy either,” she said.

That online speculation has also centered around who the older comedy writer who grooms and rapes the show’s lead character could be. The Mail notes that police had to step in following false accusations and threats made against a theater director, who has since stepped down from his role as a theater creative director.

The anonymous woman told the Mail that she is considering taking legal action against Gadd.

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