‘Baby Reindeer’: Is real-life Martha Fiona Harvey really suing Richard Gadd and Netflix?

‘Baby Reindeer’: Is real-life Martha Fiona Harvey really suing Richard Gadd and Netflix?

Fiona Harvey‘s interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored has now been watched over 11 million times.

While 11 million is a big number for the current standards of YouTube, it’s also about 6 times less than the number of viewers Netflix’s Baby Reindeer has drawn in since it premiered on the platform on April 11. So it’s only natural that the woman who claims to be the real-life Martha is worried about how many people have met the fictionalized, and by her account nearly entirely false, version of her.

In the interview, Harvey also promised to pursue legal action against Netflix, and series creator Richard Gadd, whom Martha stalks and harasses in Baby Reindeer. “I will be taking legal action against Richard Gadd and Netflix. We have instructed lawyers in part, but we want to explore all of the options out there. There are a number of people to sue,” she told Piers Morgan. So far, Netflix has not responded.

Is Fiona Harvey suing Netflix and Richard Gadd?

Photos via Netflix/YouTube

The answer to whether or not Harvey is actively suing Netflix is no ⏤ not yet, at least. She’s been in conversations with Chris Daw KC, a top U.K. lawyer and television commentator, who has told both Deadline and Piers Morgan that he’s assembling a team of lawyers from both the U.K. and the U.S. “with a view of taking the case forward.”

Per the Deadline report, Harvey has not been formally instructed to take legal action against Netflix. When Morgan asked Daw whether he would be taking Harvey on pro bono, the lawyer said he wasn’t open to discussing that.

Does Fiona Harvey have grounds to sue Netflix and Richard Gadd?

Photo via Piers Morgan Uncensored/YouTube/Netflix

Whether or not Harvey has valid reasons or legal justification for filing a lawsuit against Netflix or Gadd is what Daw, his teams of lawyers, Harvey, Morgan, and quite possibly Gadd and the Netflix people are all trying to ascertain right now.

If what Harvey says is true and most of what Gadd included in Baby Reindeer is fabricated, despite Netflix frequently using “this is a true story” to promote the show, then Daw believes that constitutes libel. The reason for the latter being that producers have a duty of care to guarantee that the people portrayed in these “true” stories who have not consented to being so are not easily identifiable. That could mean, for example, changing their nationality or profession.

It’s easy to argue that Netflix and the producing team at Clerkenwell Films did not do their best to conceal Harvey’s identity, considering both she and Martha are Scottish lawyers with similar appearances. It’s no wonder internet sleuths were so quick to find the “real Martha.”

The biggest bone to pick seems to be the way Baby Reindeer portrays Martha as a convicted stalker when Harvey says she has never been to prison. In private briefings with journalists, Morgan says, Netflix “has produced zero evidence of any conviction.” To that, Daw adds, “If it turns out as a result of our inquiries into her criminal record background that she has no criminal record, Netflix will have a legal case to answer to.”

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