A woman who believes she was an inspiration for 'Baby Reindeer' is suing Netflix A Scottish woman named Fiona Harvey has sued Netflix, claiming that she was defamed by the hit series Baby Reindeer.

A woman who believes she was an inspiration for 'Baby Reindeer' is suing Netflix

A woman who believes she was an inspiration for 'Baby Reindeer' is suing Netflix

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A Scottish woman named Fiona Harvey has sued Netflix, claiming that she was defamed by the hit series Baby Reindeer.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

A woman who believes that she inspired a main character in the hit Netflix series "Baby Reindeer" is suing Netflix. She accuses the company of defamation and negligence. And we should mention that her lawsuit, just like the show, includes discussion of stalking and sexual assault. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: In "Baby Reindeer," a struggling comedian and bartender meets an older woman named Martha at a London pub.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BABY REINDEER")

JESSICA GUNNING: (As Martha Scott, laughter).

DEL BARCO: She flirts with him and calls him her Baby Reindeer. She sends him an onslaught of emails, DMs and voicemails, and follows him in person.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BABY REINDEER")

RICHARD GADD: (As Donny Dunn) Martha, can let go my hand now, please? Martha, please let go.

GUNNING: (As Martha Scott) Don't you dare.

DEL BARCO: Scottish comedian Richard Gadd wrote, starred in and executive produced "Baby Reindeer," a dark comedy he first told on stage before making it into one of Netflix's biggest new hits.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE MAKING OF BABY REINDEER")

GADD: It is a stalker story, but it's a stalker story with a twist.

DEL BARCO: In a video for the streamer, Gadd says the story is autobiographical, including encounters with the woman who he says was his stalker.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE MAKING OF BABY REINDEER")

GADD: It's a true story...

GUNNING: (As Martha Scott, laughter).

GADD: ...Based in my early 20s, where I went through quite a lot of pretty crazy things.

DEL BARCO: Gadd also told Variety that he went to great lengths to disguise the real-life identities of the characters in his complicated story. He depicts his own tortured history and behavior and shows Martha sexually assaulting him and attacking his lover. Martha is a convicted stalker who spent time in prison.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BABY REINDEER")

GUNNING: (As Martha Scott) Apologize to me right now.

DEL BARCO: A Scottish woman named Fiona Harvey claims the character Martha is based on her. Though the show doesn't use her name, she says her identity was revealed online.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PIERS MORGAN UNCENSORED")

FIONA HARVEY: Internet sleuths tracked me down and hounded me and gave me death threats.

DEL BARCO: On the TV show "Piers Morgan Uncensored," Harvey called the show obscene and admitted she never watched it.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PIERS MORGAN UNCENSORED")

HARVEY: It's a work of fiction. It's a work of hyperbole.

DEL BARCO: Harvey said she did meet Richard Gadd a few times, but never sent him so many messages as Martha did in the show. Morgan asked her about some details depicted in the series.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PIERS MORGAN UNCENSORED")

PIERS MORGAN: Did you have a baby reindeer toy?

HARVEY: I had a toy reindeer.

MORGAN: So that's true?

HARVEY: And he'd shaved his head. That bit is true. There were reindeers in the shops. It was Christmas time or something. It was a joke.

DEL BARCO: Harvey's now seeking $170 million in damages from Netflix and a jury trial in California. In her lawsuit, she claimed she's never been convicted of a crime or sexually assaulted Gadd. In a statement, Netflix says it intends to, quote, "defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd's right to tell his story."

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF EVGUENI GALPERINE AND SACHA GALPERINE SONG, "MARTHA SUITE")

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