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Real-life ‘Baby Reindeer’ sues Netflix for defamation in $170M lawsuit

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The woman who is allegedly the inspiration behind Martha in Netflix’s “Baby Reindeer” has sued the streaming giant for at least $170 million.

Fiona Harvey filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Thursday, alleging defamation, intentional iNFLiction of emotional distress, negligence and violations of her right of publicity.

In the complaint obtained by Page Six, she accuses Netflix of basing the relentless stalker character on her life and persona.

In the show, Martha (played by Jessica Gunning) obsesses over a struggling comedian (played by series creator and real-life alleged victim Richard Gadd).

Fiona Harvey
Fiona Harvey filed a lawsuit against Netflix for defamation, emotional distress and more on Thursday. Piers Morgan Uncensored /YouTube
Fiona Harvey
She claims the stalker character Martha in Netflix’s “Baby Reindeer” is based on her. Piers Morgan/Instagram
Fiona Harvey
She accuses the streamer and series creator Richard Gadd of telling lies about her. Piers Morgan Uncensored /YouTube

“The lies that Defendants told about Harvey to over 50 million people worldwide include that Harvey is a twice-convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison, and that Harvey sexually assaulted [creator and star Richard] Gadd,” the complaint reads.

“Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money.”

The suit also argues that the “This is a true story” disclaimer at the beginning of the series leads viewers to believe every detail is factual.

Scene from "Baby Reindeer"
“Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money,” her complaint reads. Ed Miller/Netflix
Scene from "Baby Reindeer"
Harvey claims she has suffered “severe and extreme emotional distress” since show debuted in April. Ed Miller/Netflix

Harvey further claims that Netflix’s “gross negligence” allowed internet sleuths to use context clues to find her contact information after “Baby Reindeer” debuted in April.

She argues that Netflix and Gadd had “actual subjective awareness of the risk involved, but nevertheless proceeded in conscious indifference to the rights, safety, and/or welfare of [her].”

Therefore, she claims her alleged portrayal in “Baby Reindeer” has led her to become “tormented” and suffer from “severe and extreme emotional distress.”

Scene from "Baby Reindeer"
She is seeking $120 million in actual, compensatory and punitive damages. Ed Miller/Netflix
Scene from "Baby Reindeer"
She also wants at least $50 million from Netflix’s profits. Netflix

“Harvey is physically weak,” the complaint alleges. “She has and continues to experience anxiety, nightmares, panic attacks, shame, depression, nervousness, stomach pains, loss of apPetite and fear, extreme stress and sickness all directly caused by the lies told about her in ‘Baby Reindeer.'”

She is seeking a minimum of $170 million in actual, compensatory and punitive damages, plus profits earned from the series, since she claims “Netflix and Gadd destroyed her reputation, her character and her life.”

Harvey, who works as a lawyer, denied stalking and sexually assaulted Gadd during her May 6 interview on Piers Morgan’s show, “Uncensored.”

Scene from "Baby Reindeer"
Harvey denied stalking and sexually assaulted Gadd during her May 6 interview with Piers Morgan. Netflix
Scene from "Baby Reindeer"
Gadd previously told the Hollywood Reporter that he protected the real identities of anyone used as inspiration for the show.

However, another lawyer named Laura Wray claimed to Piers Morgan this week that she had been Harvey’s “major obsession” for years — predating her alleged involvement with Gadd.

She also assumed the Martha character was based on Harvey as soon as she started watching the limited series.

“From the very beginning, it was obvious it was the same woman. It was Fiona Harvey,” Wray alleged to Morgan.

“The actress does a very good job. Sounds like her, looks like her, mimicked her to a T … I have a file full of papers which are letters from her — emails, faxes and so forth, and it’s all identical.”

Laura Wray and Piers Morgan
Lawyer Laura Wray, however, claimed she was once was the object of Harvey’s “obsession.” Instagram/@piersmorgan
Jimmy Wray and wife Laura Wray
She claimed she knew the character of Martha was based on Harvey as soon as she watched the show. PA Images via Getty Images

Gadd previously told the Hollywood Reporter that he protected the real identities of anyone used as inspiration in his project.

“I mean, there’s certain protections, you can’t just copy somebody else’s life and name and put it onto television,” he said.

“And obviously, we were very aware that some characters in it are vulnerable people, so you don’t want to make their lives more difficult.”

Jessica Gunning and Richard Gadd
Gadd first created “Baby Reindeer” as a play for the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Janet Mayer / SplashNews.com
Richard Gadd
He is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Getty Images

The Scottish writer originally created “Baby Reindeer” as a play for the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

He is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but he is referenced several times.

Reps for Netflix and Gadd did not immediately respond to Page Six’s requests for comment.

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