The Real-Life Martha Who Inspired ‘Baby Reindeer’ Speaks Out Against the ‘Defamatory’ Netflix Show: ‘I’m Not a Stalker’

Following the overnight success of its British import, “Baby Reindeer,” based on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival show from creator and star Richard Gadd, Netflix is facing pushback from one of the television series’ real-life subjects.

The series features Gadd as a version of himself — an alt-comedian working at a bar whose experiences with sexual assault draws him into conflict with a stalker he names “Martha.” Recently, the real “Martha,” a woman by the name of Fiona Harvey, decided to reveal her identity in an interview with Piers Morgan. While she denies having participated in the behavior portrayed on the show, she explained why she chose to go public with her identity.

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“On the internet, sleuths tracked me down and hounded me and gave me death threats,” said Harvey during the interview. “So it wasn’t really a choice. I was forced into this situation.”

This is interesting language considering the subject matter of Gadd’s show and his own decision to open up about allegedly being groomed and sexually assaulted by a mentor. Harvey, however, disagreed with Gadd’s characterization of his plight, saying “I just generally think he’s got extreme psychiatric problems… It’s a work of fiction. It’s a work of hyperbole, as I’ve always said. And there are two true facts in that. His name is Richard Gadd, and he works as a jobbing barman on benefits, in the Hawley Arms.”

She later added, “Maybe he should look a bit closer to home, to himself as someone who needs help… Yes, I think he always was. Whether there was an alleged rape or whether that rape was real or conceived in his mind, I think that would make him more unwell.”

Despite the sensitive way in which Gadd handles Martha’s presence and actions throughout the series, Harvey — despite claiming not to have watched the show — believes she’s been unjustly maligned. Though she admits she is the basis for the character, she denies having conducted herself as depicted in the series.

Harvey went on to call the show, “Very, very defamatory to me, very career damaging. And I wanted to rebut that completely on this show [‘Piers Morgan’]. I’m not a stalker. I’ve not been to jail, I’ve not got injunctions, interdicts. This is just complete nonsense.”

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