Netflix Baby Reindeer Lawsuit From Alleged Inspiration On The Way

By Nikola Pajtic | Published

Baby Reindeer has spawned much fanfare since its release, and now the series will face a lawsuit from the woman believed to be the inspiration behind the stalker character Martha. Fiona Harvey, a 58-year-old Scottish lawyer, alleges the show’s portrayal is “defamatory” and a “work of fiction.” 

The Alleged Inspiration For Baby Reindeer Comes Forward

Harvey’s claims have sent the media into a frenzy, which eventually led to the recent Piers Morgan interview on his show. The interview alone drew criticism, with commentators like Stuart Heritage of the Guardian calling it “grubby exploitation.” Others, like Ryan Coogan in the Independent, criticized the idea of giving Morgan a platform for such an interview.

Denies Everything Shown In The Series

Richard Gadd, the creator of Baby Reindeer, claims he received a significant amount of messages, amounting to over 41,000 emails, hundreds of hours of voicemails, and social media messages, but Harvey is denying it and will be filing a lawsuit against Netflix and Richard Gadd. In the interview, Ms. Harvey said that she only sent a handful of emails, one letter, and 18 tweets. Moreover, she denied having contact with Gadd through Facebook or voicemail, as she didn’t even have his phone number. 

As the interview continued, Fiona went deeper into the story to address the inaccuracies of some scenes in the series. She denied sexually assaulting Gadd or attacking his partner. Furthermore, she denied claims of harassing his family or showing up at his house, stating, “I’m not a stalker.”

Admits To Having Interacted With Gadd

Not to spoil Baby Reindeer, Harvey maintains her innocence, saying that she never received a jail sentence. She condemned this portrayal of her as “completely untrue, very, very defamatory” and potentially damaging to her professional reputation. While Harvey has admitted interacting with Gadd since the internet sleuths found her, she has vehemently denied the nature and severity of their communication as depicted in the show. 

One Of Netflix’s Most Popular Shows

As Baby Reindeer still reigns as one of the most popular Netflix shows, it is yet to be seen how the upcoming lawsuit by Harvey will influence the series’ success. 

Amid the controversy, Netflix has taken a stand, defending Baby Reindeer and battling against the lawsuit. During a UK parliamentary hearing, Benjamin King, Netflix’s policy chief, said that the streaming giant took every reasonable precaution” to obscure the identities of those who inspired Gadd’s work.

Adapted From Gadd’s One-Man Show

King has argued that if they sacrificed artistic expression for complete privacy protection, it would undermine the authenticity of Richard Gadd’s story. He said, “We didn’t want to anonymize that or make it generic to the point where it was no longer his story because that would undermine the intent behind the show.”

He continued to say that he can’t control what viewers do and how they react to the show and had supportive words of Gadd, saying that he wouldn’t be comfortable living in a world in which Richard wasn’t allowed to share his story. Baby Reindeer is billed as a true story, created by and starring comedian Richard Gadd. Adapted from his one-man stage performance into a seven-episode exploration of the human psyche with dire consequences, it became a streaming sleeper hit since its release in April 2024. 

Unanimous Praise From Critics And Fans

This dark and gritty drama follows Donny (played by Gadd), a bartender and comedian, as he is targeted by Martha, a customer whose casual interaction turns into a dangerous obsession. The series has received almost unanimous praise for raw emotional portrayal and strong acting performances from Gadd and Jessica Gunning, who plays Martha, earning 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.