Alleged inspiration for Baby Reindeer stalker sues Netflix for £133m

Entertainment

The woman alleged to be the inspiration for the stalker in hit Netflix series Baby Reindeer is suing the streaming platform for $170m (£133m).

The show is said to be based on the real-life experiences of writer Richard Gadd, who plays himself as he copes with stalker Martha Scott.

Fiona Harvey, 58, claims she is the inspiration for Martha, who begins stalking Gadd after he serves her a free cup of tea in the pub where he works.

In the lawsuit, Ms Harvey has accused Netflix of spreading “brutal lies”, including that she is a “twice convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison”.

“Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money,” it states.

“As a result of defendants’ lies, malfeasance and utterly reckless misconduct, Harvey’s life had been ruined.”

Pic Netflix/Everett/Shutterstock
Image:
Pic: Netflix/Everett/Shutterstock

According to the legal documents filed at a Californian federal court, she accuses Netflix of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gross negligence, and violations of her right of publicity.

A Netflix spokesperson told Sky News: “We intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story.”

In an interview with journalist Piers Morgan last month, Ms Harvey said she was “forced” to come forward after receiving online death threats from “internet sleuths”.

Fiona Harvey repeatedly denied being a stalker and described the series as “a work of fiction”.

Gadd had asked fans to stop trying to discover the people behind the show’s characters, telling the Hollywood Reporter he would have made it a documentary if he wanted people to be found.

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Sky News’s US partner network NBC News reports the lawsuit described the show’s claim “this is a true story” as “the biggest lie in television history”.

“Netflix destroyed a woman, claiming, among many allegations, that she was a convicted woman,” Richard Roth, a lawyer for Ms Harvey, wrote in an email.

“It never contacted her. It never checked the facts. It never made any effort to understand the truth of its ‘true story!'”

The lawsuit seeks actual damages and compensatory damages at $50m (£39m) each, punitive damages at $20m (£16m); as well as “all profits” from Baby Reindeer at $50m (£39m).

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