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UK Woman Claims She’s ‘Baby Reindeer’ Inspiration, Sues Netflix For $170 Million

She claimed to be the real-life “Martha” played by Jessica Gunning on the show.

Los Angeles:

A British woman who claims to have been the inspiration for a stalker character in the Netflix smash hit “Baby Reindeer” filed a lawsuit against Netflix on Thursday, seeking $170 million in damages.

Fiona Harvey identifies herself as the real-life version of “Martha”, the delusional, violent and abusive woman at the centre of Richard Gadd’s global phenomenon, which claims in the introduction that it is a “true story”.

“The above quote is the biggest lie in the history of television,” the lawsuit, filed in California, claims.

“This was a lie perpetrated by Netflix and its creator Richard Gadd out of their desire for fame and greed, designed to attract more viewers, more attention, more money and to brutally destroy the life of plaintiff Fiona Harvey.”

The seven-episode series premiered on Netflix in April and quickly became a hit.

The show is based on Gadd’s one-man play and tells the fictional story of the author meeting a woman in the pub where he works.

Subsequent episodes unfolded a highly disturbing, years-long ordeal for Gad, with Martha harassing Gad, his girlfriend and his family by sending thousands of emails, texts and audio messages.

The show also shows Martha, who was reportedly previously convicted of stalking a lawyer, sexually assaulting Gad.

The British writer and performer told journalists he changed Martha’s details to protect her identity, but detectives soon tracked her down and began contacting her on social media.

Following the revelation, Harvey appeared on British television to deny messaging Mr Gadd or attacking him or his girlfriend.

“Among the lies Defendants told over 50 million people around the world about Harvey were that Harvey had been convicted twice of stalking and received a five-year prison sentence, and that Harvey had sexually assaulted Mr. Gadd,” the lawsuit states.

“The defendants continued to tell these lies and never stopped because it was a better story than the truth, and a good story makes money.”

“And Netflix, a multi-billion dollar, multinational entertainment streaming company, has literally done nothing to verify the ‘truth’ of what Mr. Gad has said.”

The lawsuit against Netflix alleges defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence, and seeks $170 million in damages.

Netflix did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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