Baby Reindeer's real life 'Martha' files £55million US lawsuit against Netflix

Fiona Harvey is suing Netflix
-Credit: (Image: Daily Record.)


The woman who is believed to be the inspiration behind Baby Reindeer's Martha is suing Netflix for a staggering $70 million.

A complaint against the streaming giant was filed on behalf of the Scots Law graduate last night by American lawyers.

In the documents Richard A. Roth and his New York firm Roth Law, demanded a jury trial at the United States District Court Central District Of California to hold the broadcaster to account, reports the Record.

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They claim Netflix "lied" by claiming Richard Gadd’s seven-part series told the true story of how he was terrorised by a convicted stalker who had been to prison and who had sexually assaulted him and that they did so out of “greed”.

The complaint begins: “This is a true story.’ - Baby Reindeer, Episode 1.”

“The above quote from the first episode of the Netflix series, Baby Reindeer, 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.

“This is an action by Plaintiff Fiona Harvey (“Harvey”) against Defendants Netflix, Inc. and Netflix Worldwide Entertainment (collectively “Netflix”), for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gross negligence, and violations of Harvey’s right of publicity, arising out of the brutal lies Defendants told about her in the television series, Baby Reindeer.

“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.

“And Netflix, a multi-national billion dollar entertainment streaming company did literally nothing to confirm the “true story” that Gadd told. That is, it never investigated whether Harvey was convicted, a very serious misrepresentation of the facts.

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“It did nothing to understand the relationship between Gadd and Harvey, if any.

“It did nothing to determine whether other facts, including an assault, the alleged stalking or the conviction was accurate.

“It did nothing to understand whether Gadd’s production, which ruined Harvey was accurate.

“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.”

Harvey’s lawyers are demanding a trial in order that she can seek “actual damages” of $50 million, plus legal fees costs and statutory interest

Judgment against Defendants for actual damages, the sum to be determined at trial, but is believed to exceed $50 million, exclusive of legal fees, costs and statutory interest;

Judgment against Defendants for compensatory damages in the maximum amount allowed by law, in an amount to exceed $50 million, exclusive of legal fees and costs, including mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of business;

Pre-judgment interest at the legally prescribed rate from the date of the violations until judgment as well as post-judgment interest as applicable; and an award of attorneys’ fees.

Harvey’s lawyer Richard Roth told The Record: “The complaint is self explanatory. Netflix destroyed a woman claiming, among many allegations, that she was a convicted felon.

“It never contacted her. It never checked the facts. It never made any effort to understand the truth of its ‘true story’. not true.

"You should not be allowed to do that in any country, particularly this country. They've really destroyed her.

"We are seeking $70 million and confidence of success."

The complaint states that her life has been ruined as a result of the programme and that their demands are therefore reasonable.

Baby Reindeer became one of Netflix’s most popular TV series of all time.

It portrays an ordeal Gadd faced at the hands of a deranged stalker who has been in prison for a historical crime and is sent to prison for stalking him.

His character Donny Dunn is tormented by the woman called Martha in the series.

Internet sleuths easily discovered the character was based on Fiona Harvey.

A Netflix spokesperson said: "We intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd's right to tell his story."

Richard Gadd’s lawyers have been approached for comment.

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