Home » Fiona Harvey Sues Netflix for Defamation Over “Baby Reindeer” Stalker Character

Fiona Harvey Sues Netflix for Defamation Over “Baby Reindeer” Stalker Character

by Mohammed Ahmed
Fiona Harvey Sues Netflix for Defamation Over "Baby Reindeer" Stalker Character

Fiona Harvey, who claims she inspired the character Martha in the Netflix drama “Baby Reindeer,” is suing the streaming giant for defamation, negligence, and privacy violations. Harvey alleges that the show, which depicts her as a convicted criminal and stalker, has spread “brutal lies” to over 50 million viewers globally.

The lawsuit, filed in a California court, seeks over $170 million in damages. Harvey asserts that the series falsely represents her as having spent time in prison for stalking, a claim she refutes. Netflix has responded, stating its intention to “defend this matter vigorously,” supporting the show’s creator, Scottish comedian Richard Gadd, in telling his story.

Gadd wrote “Baby Reindeer” based on his alleged experiences with a woman he met at a pub where he worked. The series’ first episode states, “this is a true story,” though the end credits note that certain elements have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Neither Gadd nor Harvey’s real names are used in the series, and Netflix has not confirmed that Martha was based on Harvey.

In her lawsuit, Harvey claims that Netflix failed to verify the accuracy of Gadd’s story. She denies sexually assaulting Gadd and alleges that Netflix perpetuated these falsehoods for a better story, which they believed would generate more revenue.

Richard Roth, Harvey’s lawyer, stated they possess “incontrovertible documentary evidence” showing Harvey has no criminal convictions. The lawsuit includes a background check and a certificate asserting her clean criminal record. Harvey, residing in the UK, reports receiving numerous death threats since the series’ release in April.

During a parliamentary session, Netflix executive Benjamin King referred to the show as “the horrific abuse that Richard Gadd suffered at the hands of a convicted stalker.” This statement was challenged by MP John Nicolson, who noted that journalists could not find evidence of Harvey’s conviction.

IHarvey expressed confidence in winning the case, citing the solid evidence they have gathered. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing it,” she said. Roth emphasized the certainty of Harvey’s innocence regarding the allegations portrayed in the series.

The controversy surrounding “Baby Reindeer” raises significant questions about the responsibilities of media companies in fact-checking and the potential consequences of dramatizing real-life events.

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