MP writes to Netflix over evidence given about Baby Reindeer’s real-life Martha

An MP has asked Netflix to provide evidence that the woman who inspired the character Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer is a “convicted stalker”.

Netflix’s director of public policy, Benjamin King, gave evidence to the Culture Media and Sport (CMS) Committee on May 8 and said the show is “the true story of the horrific abuse that the writer and protagonist, Richard Gadd, suffered at the hands of a convicted stalker”.

Fiona Harvey has identified herself as the woman who inspired Martha in the drama and has denied stalking Gadd, describing the show’s depiction of her as “defamatory”.

On X, formerly Twitter, SNP MP John Nicolson shared a letter he had written to Mr King following the meeting, asking him to back up this claim.

The letter said: “At your appearance on 8th May before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, I asked you about the Netflix series ‘Baby Reindeer’ and, specifically, the duty of care due to the woman now identified as ‘Martha’ from the series.

“You told me the following: ‘(Baby Reindeer) is obviously the true story of the horrific abuse that the writer (…) suffered, at the hands of a convicted stalker.

“‘We did take every reasonable precaution in disguising the real life identities of the people whilst striking a balance with the veracity and authenticity of (the) story.’

Baby Reindeer
Fiona Harvey on Piers Morgan Uncensored (Piers Morgan Uncensored/TalkTV)

“Journalists have thus far been unable to find a record of the conviction to which you referred.

“Can you provide me with the evidence for this serious claim which you made to me at the select committee?”

It is a contempt of Parliament if the claim is false and Mr King has knowingly misled the Committee.

In Baby Reindeer, Gadd’s character Donny Dunn is stalked by Martha after he serves her a free cup of tea in the pub where he works.

BAFTA TV Awards 2024 – London
Jessica Gunning and Richard Gadd attending the Bafta TV Awards (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

In an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Ms Harvey said she would sue Netflix and creator-turned-star Gadd over the “defamatory” depiction.

Referencing a scene in which Martha receives a nine-month prison sentence, she said: “That is completely untrue, very, very defamatory to me, very career damaging.

“I wanted to rebut that completely on this show – I am not a stalker, I have not been to jail, I’ve not got injunctions – it is complete nonsense.”

At the select committee, Mr King said the show was about “telling Richard’s story in a truthful way”.

Love Lies Bleeding screening – London
Jessica Gunning and Richard Gadd attending a gala screening of Love Lies Bleeding at the Prince Charles Theatre in central London (Lucy North/PA)

“I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with a world in which we decided it was better that Richard was silenced, and not allowed to tell his story”, he said

“Obviously, we are following the situation very closely.”

Asked if the “Martha character in real life” was offered any support, he added: “I can’t get into the specifics of what happened around making the show because it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment and I don’t want to give further fuel to some of the theories which are circulating on the internet.”

Netflix has been approached for comment.