‘Baby Reindeer’ Martha plans to sue Netflix
(Credits: Netflix)

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'Baby Reindeer' Martha plans to sue Netflix

Hit Netflix show Baby Reindeer has sparked quite a substantial discussion since its release earlier this month, with responses varying from applauding creator Richard Gadd’s overt and honest presentation of trauma to reports of new concerns regarding the naming and shaming of the real people at the centre of such stories.

The show is based on the real experiences of Gadd and his encounter with Martha, a fictionalised characterisation of his real-life stalker, who he met one day while working at The Heart pub in Camden. Gadd also plays a version of himself called Donny, whose relationship with Martha becomes an incredibly complicated affair as he battles with his own issues with self-esteem and sexual assault trauma.

In the show, actor Jessica Gunning plays Martha, whose claims to be a lawyer ignite confusion in the mind of Donny, who finds himself questioning why she is unable to afford a diet coke – something she orders ever day but never actually drinks. Anything that seemed harmless at first soon turns sour when Martha begins sending Donny hundreds of emails and attending his live comedy shows.

Although Gadd refrained from revealing the ‘real’ Martha’s identity, rumours starting circulating about her real name and social media profiles, and she has recently spoken out about her plans to sue Netflix for its unfair depiction of her character.

Speaking to The Scottish Sun, the woman expressed her disdain towards actor Gunning, saying: “There’s a fat actress that’s supposed to be me.” She also, of course, hit-out at Gadd, saying: “I am very attractive. He’s not Brad Pitt.” Revealing her plans to sue the streaming giant, she added: “People are probably saying I’m a mass murderer. This can’t continue. I will kick their asses.”

Although Baby Reindeer is billed as a true story, Gadd has insisted that the various incidences are “borrowed from instances” regarding the “real people” he met. During one particularly harrowing scene, Gadd’s Donny is sexually assaulted by a well-known industry figure who claims to propel his career – a promise that keeps Donny returning despite his awareness of the realities of the situation.

Since the show aired, viewers have speculated about the various character identities, causing Gadd to speak out on his social media. In a statement, he urged people to stop searching for answers: “People I love, have worked with and admire are unfairly getting caught up in speculation,” he said, adding, “Please don’t speculate on who any of the real-life people could be. That’s not the point of the show.”