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Real-Life ‘Baby Reindeer’ Sues Netflix For $170 Million

Fiona Harvey, who says she inspired the character Martha in ‘Baby Reindeer,’ is suing Netflix for causing serious harm to her reputation.

Fiona Harvey has filed a $170 million lawsuit against Netflix. Harvey claims the show, which says it is based on a true story, misrepresents her and has caused serious harm to her reputation and life.

As per NME, Harvey filed the lawsuit on June 6 in the US District Court for the Central District of California. She is accusing Netflix of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gross negligence, and violating her right to publicity.

She is asking for at least $50 million in actual damages, $50 million in compensatory damages for mental anguish and loss of business, $50 million from profits made by ‘Baby Reindeer,’ and $20 million in punitive damages.

Harvey Denies The Accusations Altogether

‘Baby Reindeer’ is a seven-part series created and written by comedian Richard Gadd. The show tells the story of Gadd being stalked by an older woman named Martha. Harvey, who says she is the inspiration for Martha, denies many parts of the story. She says she never sent Gadd 41,000 emails, hundreds of voice messages, and over 100 letters, as shown in the series.

She also denies ever being convicted or going to prison, as the show suggests.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, Harvey said:

“I don’t think I sent him anything. There may have been a couple of emails, jokey banter, but that is it.”

Harvey, who lives alone in a small apartment in London, was also accused by a former employer of stalking her and her staff. Harvey denied these allegations as well.

Harvey claims that Netflix and Gadd used her story for financial gain without checking the facts. She believes their actions ruined her reputation, her job prospects, and her ability to make sensible decisions about her welfare.

Netflix Is Supporting Gadd

Netflix responded to the lawsuit by saying they plan to defend the matter vigorously and stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story. Gadd hasn’t responded to any of Harvey’s claims directly but said that the story told in ‘Baby Reindeer’ is based on true events from his life:

“It’s very emotionally true, obviously: I was severely stalked and severely abused. But we wanted it to exist in the sphere of art, as well as protect the people it’s based on.”

Gadd also explained that he wanted the character of Martha to be its own person, not a direct impersonation of Harvey:

“I didn’t share any real-life voicemails or emails with Jessica (his co-star). And she was also very good at being like, ‘I just need the script and that’s fine’. I wanted Martha to take on a life of its own, to exist outside the real-life people, and I didn’t want it to be like an actor trying to inhabit a person. I wanted it to be its own character.”

‘Baby Reindeer’ is currently available to watch on Netflix.

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