Baby Reindeer star won't speak about real life Martha interview out of respect for Richard Gadd

Jessica Gunning
Jessica Gunning -Credit:Getty Images

Baby Reindeer star Jessica Gunning hasn’t spoken about the real life Martha TV interview out of respect for her friendship with creator Richard Gadd.

Jessica, 38, plays the role of the stalker to Gadd’s Donny Dunn in the hit Netflix series, billed as a “true story”, which has been the top show for the streaming channel in 30 countries.

Internet sleuths quickly identified Scot Fiona Harvey as the person Martha had been based on and the 58-year-old appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored, where she claimed the show, in which Gadd plays himself, was littered with lies and untruths.

Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning in Baby Reindeer
Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning in Baby Reindeer -Credit:Netflix

Jessica told the Radio Times: “Me and Richard have this close connection and I’m very concerned about anything that might upset him. He’s a survivor of sexual assault and he was stalked and I think that any search for real people almost undermines that slightly.

“He didn’t want any internet sleuths to go out and try and find the identities of these real people. He deliberately changed identities for a reason. But of course, in this day and age, it’s inevitable, especially with a show this big, that people are intrigued by who the real people are.”

Jessica said she is “fiercely protective” of Gadd, from Wormit, Fife, whose first incarnation of Baby Reindeer was a one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival in 2019.

She said: “He was incredibly brave to bare all. I’m always fiercely protective of him and I want to make sure that none of this is upsetting for him, really, so I try and keep out of any of that stuff.”

Despite viewers saying the similarities in the mannerisms of both Fiona and Martha were uncanny, Jessica said she knew nothing more about Martha than what was written in the script.

She added: “I absolutely saw Martha as a character, I wasn’t doing an impersonation of a real person. I genuinely didn’t know anything about the real person.”

Fiona is threatening to sue Netflix for her portrayal in Baby Reindeer and says she was never convicted of stalking Gadd as the series claims.

The full interview with Jessica Gunning is in this week’s Radio Times, on sale now.

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