Real-life Baby Reindeer Martha says 'I did not do jail time' and is considering legal action

Fiona Harvey
Daily Record Real life �Baby Reindeer� Fiona Harvey in London today. -Credit:No credit

The real-life Martha from Baby Reindeer has revealed her identity and denied ever serving jail time. The woman, who is portrayed as a terrifying stalker in the show, is considering legal action against the programme.

Scottish lawyer Fiona Harvey, who had previously remained unnamed by the Record, has now decided to go public with her experience following the Netflix show's success.

Harvey gave the Daily Record permission to reveal her identity, stating: "You have my authority to name me in the Daily Record."

She added: "I give you my permission to name me because people have to know what is going on."

In the popular series, Harvey's character, aged 58, is depicted as a stalker who served four-and-a-half years in prison before meeting comedian Richard Gadd, reports the Daily Record.

The Netflix hit also shows Martha being jailed for nine months due to the trauma inflicted on Donny, a fictionalised version of Gadd.

However, speaking exclusively to the Record, Harvey refuted these claims, saying: "I've not been to prison. I don't know where the four -and-a-half years and nine months comes in."

She added: "None of this happened. It's a load of rubbish."

Baby Reindeer explores how Gadd's alleged stalker became obsessed with him. English actress Jessica Gunning, 38, portrays a Scottish woman in her 40s named Martha Scott who resides in Camden.

Harvey is currently contemplating legal action against both Gadd and Netflix.

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

"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 company owned by BBC Studios. The show has gained international recognition.

Acclaimed horror writer Stephen King is among its fans, likening Martha's character to Annie Wilkes from his 1987 bestselling novel Misery.

In the show, Gadd, aged 34, portrays a fictionalised version of himself named Donny Dunn. Throughout his unsettling three-year ordeal, Martha bombards him with more than 40,000 emails, 350 hours of voicemail, 744 tweets, 46.

Facebook messages and a whopping 106 pages worth of letters. Netflix has verified that the emails Donny receives in the series are the "real emails" he received from his stalker all ending with "sent from my iPhone", despite Martha not owning one.

Rory Lynch, a legal professional specialising in defamation and privacy at Gateley Legal, theorises that Harvey may have a potential case for defamation due to her identity being discovered through a procedure known as "jigsaw identification".

Internet detectives took to social media, piecing together evidence 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 double entendres.

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 claims made in the show 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 past employer and the employer's spouse 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, former 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.

Laura remarked: "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 expresses living in fear due to the series' impact.

She stated: "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, the publication chose not to identify her, but other publications later did so without her 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."