‘Baby Reindeer’: The woman claiming to be real Martha sues Netflix for $170m
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‘Baby Reindeer’: The woman claiming to be real Martha sues Netflix for $170m

The woman who is claiming to be the real person behind the inspiration for the character of Martha in the Netflix drama series Baby Reindeer has now issued a lawsuit against the streaming service looking for around $170m.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursdayin the US district court for the central district of California. The woman, Fiona Harvey has said that Netflix are guilty of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gross negligence and violations of her right of publicity.

Baby Reindeer has been a huge success on Netflix. It was written by and starred Richard Gadd, who based the events of the show on his personal experiences of being stalked.

Harvey has previously claimed that she is the inspiration behind the show’s character Martha, i.e. the protagonists stalker, but has rejected the fact that she had indeed stalked Gadd himself, as well as the notion that she had sent the writer and comedian more than 40,000 emails.

The lawsuit states, “The lies that Defendants told about Harvey to over 50million people worldwide, including that Harvey is a twice-convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison and that Harvey sexually assaulted Gadd.

“Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money,” the lawsuit continues. “Netflix, a multi-national billion dollar entertainment streaming company did literally nothing to confirm the ‘true story’ that Gadd told.”

According to the lawsuit, Netflix did not investigate whether Harvey had been convicted of such crimes, which it calls a “misrepresentation of the facts. In addition, little was done to make a decision on the reality of the relationship between Harvey and Gadd.

“As a result of Defendants’ lies, malfeasance and utterly reckless misconduct, Harvey’s life had been ruined. Simply, Netflix and Gadd destroyed her reputation, her character and her life,” the lawsuit signed off.

According to Netflix, the streaming service heads are planning to defend themselves from Harvey’s lawsuit. She is currently seeking around $50m for actual damages against herself, $50m in compensation, $50m from the profits of the show and around $20m for punitive damages.

Gadd had recently admitted that he made minor tweaks to his own experiences in order to give the show a more dramatic effect. “It’s very emotionally true, obviously: I was severely stalked and severely abused,” he had told The Guardian.