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Baby Reindeer: Alleged ‘Martha’ inspiration sues Netflix for £133m

The individual purported to be the muse for the stalker character in the popular Netflix series “Baby Reindeer” has filed a lawsuit against the streaming service, demanding $170 million (£133 million).

The series is reportedly inspired by the personal encounters of author Richard Gadd, who portrays his own struggle with a stalker named Martha Scott.

Fiona Harvey, aged 58, alleges that she is the real-life counterpart of Martha, who starts to pursue Gadd following a benign interaction involving a complimentary cup of tea at the pub he works in.

Ms. Harvey’s lawsuit accuses Netflix of disseminating “harsh falsehoods,” including claims that she is a “serial stalker with two convictions, resulting in a five-year prison sentence.”

The legal claim asserts, “These fabrications persisted because they spun a more compelling narrative than reality, and such narratives are lucrative.”

Harvey contends that the “fabrications, malpractice, and completely irresponsible actions” of the defendants have devastated her life.

The legal filings in a California federal court charge Netflix with defamation, deliberate infliction of emotional distress, negligence, severe negligence, and infringement of her publicity rights.

A representative for Netflix conveyed to Sky News their intention to “vigorously defend” the case and uphold Richard Gadd’s freedom to share his experience.

Ms. Harvey, in a discussion with journalist Piers Morgan, expressed that she felt compelled to speak out after facing death threats online from “cyber detectives.”

She has consistently refuted any allegations of stalking and labeled the series as purely fictional.

Gadd has urged his audience to refrain from speculating about the real identities behind the characters, stating to the Hollywood Reporter that he would have opted for a documentary format had he intended for the individuals to be identified.

According to NBC News, a partner of Sky News in the US, the lawsuit criticizes the show’s declaration of being “a true story” as “the most significant deception in television history.”

“Netflix has vilified a woman with various accusations, including her being a convicted individual,” stated Richard Roth, Ms. Harvey’s attorney, via email.

He highlighted that Netflix neither approached her nor verified the facts, nor did it attempt to ascertain the authenticity of its ‘true story.’”

The lawsuit is seeking $50 million (£39 million) each for actual and compensatory damages, $20 million (£16m) in punitive damages, and all profits garnered from “Baby Reindeer,” estimated at $50 million (£39 million).

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