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Woman Sues Netflix Over Alleged Defamatory Portrayal In ‘Baby Reindeer’ Series

A Scottish woman, Fiona Harvey has taken legal action against streaming giant Netflix, alleging defamation, negligence, and privacy violations stemming from her purported depiction in the hit drama series “Baby Reindeer.”

Harvey contends that the character Martha, portrayed in the show, is based on her, and she is seeking over $170 million in damages.

In a lawsuit filed in a California court, Harvey claims that Netflix disseminated “brutal lies” to its global audience of over 50 million viewers, falsely portraying her as a convicted criminal who engaged in stalking.

The series, created by and starring Scottish comedian Richard Gadd, allegedly depicts Martha as a convicted stalker who sexually assaults the protagonist, based on Gadd’s experiences.

Netflix has responded, stating its intention to vigorously defend against the lawsuit and uphold Richard Gadd’s right to share his story.

The series presents itself as a true story, although it acknowledges fictionalised elements for dramatic purposes in its end credits.

Harvey denies the allegations against her, asserting that Netflix failed to verify the truthfulness of Gadd’s claims before producing the series.

A Netflix executive, Benjamin King, previously described the show as a true account of Gadd’s ordeal with a convicted stalker, emphasising its basis on real events.

Harvey’s lawyer, Richard Roth has however provided documentary evidence confirming his client’s lack of criminal convictions.

Harvey alleges that since the series’ release in April, she has faced death threats and has become fearful of leaving her home due to public scrutiny.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, Harvey acknowledged knowing Gadd during his time working at a London pub but denied exhibiting the behaviors attributed to her character in the series.

She claims that her interactions with Gadd were limited to casual emails and denies sending excessive messages as depicted in the show.

The lawsuit highlights the use of real-life comments made by Harvey in the show’s dialogue, including a tweet she sent to Gadd in 2014.

Despite Netflix’s disclaimer of fictionalisation, Harvey insists that the portrayal of Martha closely mirrors her own identity.

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