Why Is Baby Reindeer’s Alleged Real Martha Suing Netflix? She Is Demanding $170 Million in Damages Over 'Mental Anguish, Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life'

Baby Reindeer, adapted from Gadd’s solo Edinburgh Festival performance, premiered globally on Netflix on April 11 and swiftly gained immense popularity on the platform. In the series, Gadd portrays a fictionalized character named Donny Dunn, loosely based on himself. Read on for more

A Scottish woman who asserts she served as the inspiration for Richard Gadd’s popular Netflix production “Baby Reindeer” has filed a lawsuit against the streaming platform, seeking damages totaling at least $170 million.

Fiona Harvey has publicly claimed that the character of Martha in “Baby Reindeer,” portrayed by Jessica Gunning, is modeled after her. She has initiated legal action against Netflix, citing defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and violations of her right of publicity.

The lawsuit was submitted on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Harvey’s legal complaint contends that Netflix propagated “harsh falsehoods” about her within the narrative of the “Baby Reindeer” series.

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What Does Baby Reindeer’s Real Martha’s Lawsuit Alleges?

Shortly following the release of the show, Fiona Harvey appeared on Piers Morgan’s YouTube program, where she mentioned contemplating legal action against both Gadd and Netflix. She refuted claims of sending Gadd 41,000 emails, stating to Morgan that the series is “a work of hyperbole.”

Harvey’s legal action alleges that “Netflix, a multinational billion-dollar entertainment streaming company, made no effort to verify the ‘true story’ presented by Gadd.”

Through her lawsuit, Harvey seeks over $170 million from Netflix, comprising: a minimum of $50 million for actual damages; a minimum of $50 million in compensatory damages for “mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of business”; a minimum of $50 million “for all profits from ‘Baby Reindeer'”; and a minimum of $20 million in punitive damages. These figures do not account for legal fees or expenses, as stated in the complaint.

Lawsuit Claims Netflix Baby Reindeer ‘Is The Biggest Lie In Television History’

Fiona Harvey’s complaint reads, “The lies that Defendants told about Harvey to over 50 million people worldwide include that Harvey is a twice-convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison, and that Harvey sexually assaulted Gadd. Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money.”

The lawsuit also states, as per Variety, “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.”

The reps for Netflix and Gadd have, s far, not responded to the lawsuit. Gadd is not named as a defendant in Harvey’s lawsuit.

The first episode of “Baby Reindeer” says at the beginning, “This is a true story.” Harvey’s lawsuit claims that “is the biggest lie in television history. It is a lie told by Netflix and the show’s creator, Richard Gadd, out of greed and lust for fame; a lie designed to attract more viewers, get more attention, to make more money, and to viciously destroy the life of Plaintiff, Fiona Harvey- an innocent woman defamed by Netflix and Richard Gadd at a magnitude and scale without precedent.”

Baby Reindeer, adapted from Gadd’s solo Edinburgh Festival performance, premiered globally on Netflix on April 11 and swiftly gained immense popularity on the platform. In the series, Gadd portrays a fictionalized character named Donny Dunn, loosely based on himself.

The seven-episode limited series chronicles Dunn’s journey from bartender to comedian, during which he encounters an obsessive female stalker named Martha. Martha inundates him with thousands of emails and harasses his family and girlfriend along the way.

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