The Woman Who Inspired Martha in 'Baby Reindeer' Calls the Series "a Work of Fiction" In a YouTube Interview

A woman has come forward as the alleged inspiration behind Martha in Richard Gadd's hit Netflix series.

jessica gunning as martha in baby reindeer
(Image credit: Netflix)

The alleged real-life equivalent of Martha in Baby Reindeer has denied many of the events depicted in the Netflix series.

A woman named Fiona Harvey, who recently came forward to reveal she allegedly inspired the character Martha in Richard Gadd's hit series based on his personal experience with a stalker, gave her first on-camera interview on May 9. Harvey appeared on an episode of Piers Morgan's YouTube show Piers Morgan Uncensored and claimed she plans to take legal action against both the streaming giant and Gadd.

“It’s a work of fiction [and] hyperbole,” the Scottish lawyer said of the show, calling it “obscene” and “horrifying.”

richard gadd and jessica gunning in baby reindeer

Richard Gadd as Donnie and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Speaking to Morgan, Harvey said that she has not watched Baby Reindeer in its entirety, adding that she has heard some details about the series from friends and reporters who have contacted her.

Harvey claimed on Uncensored that she met Gadd while he was a bartender at the Hawley Arms pub in Camden. Though she admitted that some details from the series were accurate, including the “Baby Reindeer” nickname and the “hang your curtains” innuendo, she denied many of the incidents of stalking and the physical attacks included in the series.

She also claimed that she has never been to prison or convicted of stalking, as the on-screen counterpart Martha had.

After first denying that she had sent Gadd emails—which he claims in the fictional series that he received 40,000 of—Harvey stated after additional questioning by Morgan that she had sent "a handful," per The New York Post.

While teasing the interview on a May 8 social media post, the British TV personality shared a photo of himself and Harvey from his Uncensored studio and claimed she "wants to have her say and 'set the record straight.'"

Harvey's first TV appearance comes after she previously gave an anonymous interview to The Daily Mail, in which she said she was considering taking legal action against Gadd and Netflix, and then later publicly revealed her identity as the alleged real-life Martha in an early May interview with the U.K. outlet The Daily Record.

Her speaking out publicly also follows her becoming the subject of social media speculation about whether she was the real-life equivalent of Martha shortly after the Netflix series debuted on April 11.

In Baby Reindeer, which Gadd both wrote and stars in as a fictional version of himself named Donny Dunn, the Scottish comedian examines how he was stalked by a woman who sent him thousands of emails and 350 hours of voicemail messages over four years. Actress Jessica Gunning plays the woman, renamed Martha, in the series.

Jessica Gunning as Martha, sitting at a bar, in 'Baby Reindeer'

Jessica Gunning as Martha, in the Baby Reindeer premiere.

(Image credit: Ed Miller/Netflix)

Since the seven-episode miniseries' release, it's become a sleeper hit for Netflix and garnered acclaim. As more viewers tuned into the series, it also prompted speculation among some fans of the true identities of Martha and the character Darrien, a man who sexually assaults Donny (played in the series by Tom Goodman-Hill).

As Gadd had previously said in interviews he went to "great lengths" to disguise the identity of the woman who inspired Martha, he was also quick to shut down viewers' speculation.

"That’s not the point of our show," he wrote in a since-expired statement that he shared to Instagram Stories, per Deadline.

Gunning has also spoken out about how "Netflix and Richard really didn’t want" viewers to try to find the real people behind the series.

In an interview with Dazed, she said, "I think it’s really sad if that is happening because they clearly haven’t watched the show in the right way and haven’t got the message of the show."

Sadie Bell
Senior Culture Editor

Sadie Bell is the Senior Culture Editor at Marie Claire, where she edits, writes, and helps to ideate stories across movies, TV, books, and music, from interviews with talent to pop culture features and trend stories. She has a passion for uplifting rising stars, and a special interest in cult-classic movies, emerging arts scenes, and music. She has over eight years of experience covering pop culture and her byline has appeared in Billboard, Interview Magazine, NYLON, PEOPLE, Rolling Stone, Thrillist and other outlets.

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