Real Baby Reindeer Martha reveals identity and says 'I did not do jail time'

Fiona Harvey
Fiona Harvey. -Credit:Daily Record

Baby Reindeer's real-life persona Martha, has threatened to take legal action over the Netflix series where she is portrayed as a rampant stalker.

Fiona Harvey, a Scottish lawyer who the Daily Record previously chose not to identify now seeks to enlighten everyone about her experiences since her identity became public following the series' success.

In an unexpected move, Harvey commented last night: "You have my authority to name me in the Daily Record. I give you my permission to name me because people have to know what is going on."

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The hit series features a character based on Harvey, 58, as a stalker who supposedly served a four-and-a-half-year prison term before encountering comedian Richard Gadd. In addition, the show, currently the most-watched on Netflix, shows Martha incarcerated for nine months after tormenting Donny, a fictional representation of Gadd.

Harvey said: "I've not been to prison. I don't know where the four-and-a-half years and nine months comes in. None of this happened. It's a load of rubbish."

Baby Reindeer unveils the alleged fascination of Gadd's touted stalker. In the series, English actress Jessica Gunning, 38, plays Martha Scott, a Scottish woman in her 40s from Camden.

Harvey now contemplates legal action against both the stand-up artist and Netflix.

She argued: "Gadd needs to prove I went to jail which just didn't happen. I've never been sent to jail. That is blatantly obvious.

She has hit back following the Netflix series.
She has hit back following the Netflix series. -Credit:TIM ANDERSON

"Police at your door would be the first thing, then you'd be charged, then you would have a trial. Then you'd be fined or something or go to prison.

"This is all made up and hyperbole. There are no restraining orders, injunctions or interdicts anywhere. There's just no way. I've not had the police at my door about any of these things.

"It's a load of rubbish. I don't have any money but I'm a perfectly capable lawyer so I will represent myself."

Baby Reindeer is produced by Clerkenwell Films, a part of BBC Studios, and has gained worldwide recognition. Notably, renowned horror author Stephen King is a fan, likening Martha to Annie Wilkes from his blockbuster 1987 novel Misery.

In the series, Gadd, aged 34, adopts the persona of Donny Dunn. Martha bombards him with more than 40,000 emails, 350 hours of voicemail, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages and 106 pages of letters during his distressing three-year predicament.

Netflix has confirmed that the emails Donny receives in the show are the "real emails" he received from his stalker interestingly, all signed off with "sent from my iPhone", despite Martha not owning one.

According to Rory Lynch, a solicitor specialising in defamation and privacy at Gateley Legal, Harvey may have a plausible case for defamation due to people discovering her identity through a technique known as "jigsaw identification".

Internet detectives took to social media, piecing together clues that uncovered her identity, including a reference to a Baby Reindeer bar scene where Martha pleads for assistance in getting her curtains hung, only to be met with a slew of innuendos.

The sleuths pinpointed a tweet from September 23, 2014, where Harvey wrote, "@MrRichardGadd my curtains need hung badly."

Harvey, an Aberdeen University law graduate, would need to demonstrate that the show's allegations are both false and have caused her significant harm.

Lynch commented: "The only thing I can presume is that when Clerkenwell, films, the BBC and Netflix looked at it with their legal team they thought that they could rely on the fact that it is a drama. It's not supposed to be a factual documentary.

"So although Netflix said it's a true story, essentially it's a dramatisation of a true story.

"But I do think that Richard Gadd could have been a bit more careful in changing a lot of the scenes to be more fictitious, but also covering up the identity of the people it was based on."

Early in the series, Donny learns that Martha has been imprisoned after she accused a former employer and the employer's husband of mistreating their deaf child.

Over two decades earlier, Scottish solicitor Laura Wray pursued legal action over similar accusations Harvey levelled against Laura and her late husband, Labour MP Jimmy Wray.

Laura claims Harvey wrongfully accused her and her spouse of assaulting their three year old son, who has a rare chromosomal disorder.

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Laura recounted: "We took an interim interdict. I don't think she responded and I don't think there was a full hearing after because it did the trick in stopping her coming near me.

"It was a long time ago and I haven't heard from her since.

"I've watched the Netflix show now and it's quite uncanny, put it that way."

Harvey, on the other hand, expresses living in fear due to the show's impact.

She expressed: "Gadd and Netflix have portrayed this as a true story and now some little man in North Carolina giving me death threats believes it's a true story. But I think you'd need to be really stupid to believe it is true."

The Record featured two exclusive interviews with Harvey last week. Out of a duty of care, a decision was made not to reveal her identity, but other papers went ahead and named her without consent.

She has openly admitted to being the real-life Martha from the Netflix series, as seen in several Facebook posts.

Harvey declared last night: "Any semblance of a normal life I had is gone. It's open season on me and this is my chance to speak out.

"Would it have been better if I spoke to nobody? No, I don't think so. That is why I have also rebutted the Laura Wray allegations on Facebook and will be doing a major TV appearance soon so everyone may as well know who I am and at least they'll hear the truth.

"I think we can easily prove I'm not a career criminal by saying I've not been to prison. I have no criminal convictions of any description."