The Real 'Baby Reindeer' Stalker Has Come Forward and Is Considering Taking Legal Action

A woman has alleged that she's the inspiration behind the character Martha in the hit Netflix series.

Jessica Gunning as Martha, sitting at a bus stop, in the Netflix series 'Baby Reindeer'
Martha (Jessica Gunning) in Baby Reindeer.
(Image credit: Ed Miller/Netflix)

The alleged real-life stalker at the center of Netflix's crime miniseries Baby Reindeer has said she's unhappy with the hit show.

A woman has claimed in an interview with The Daily Mail to be the inspiration for the character Martha (played by actress Jessica Gunning) in the new series created by Richard Gadd and based on his own experience with a stalker. She told the outlet, which kept her identity anonymous, that she has received "death threats and abuse from [creator] Richard Gadd's supporters."

She also said that she's considering legal action against Gadd.

The seven-episode show is based on the Scottish comedian's real-life experience of being stalked by an acquaintance, who sent over 40,000 emails and 350 hours of voicemail messages to him over a four-year period. Gadd both wrote the series and stars in it as a fictional version of himself named Donny Dunn.

a male barkeep (Richard Gadd as Donny) stands behind the bar as a female patron (Jessica Gunning as Martha) points at him and smiles, in the netflix series 'baby reindeer'

Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) and Martha (Jessica Gunning) in Baby Reindeer's first episode.

(Image credit: Ed Miller/Netflix)

Speaking to the Mail, the unnamed woman "denied being a stalker" and called out Baby Reindeer for "bullying an older woman on television for fame and fortune."

Gadd has not divulged details about the real-life Martha's identity, and has stated in interviews that the situation was "resolved."

The showrunner/actor also said that he and Netflix went to "great lengths" to disguise the real woman's identity.

However, the woman alleging to be the inspiration for Martha said that there are similarities between herself and the character, including their age, former occupation, and nationality. She also claimed that certain details from the series, including the "curtain" innuendo from the show's early episodes, are taken from real life.

"He's using Baby Reindeer to stalk me now. I'm the victim. He's written a bloody show about me," she claimed of Gadd.

She later added, "If he wanted me to be properly anonymous, he could have done so."

jessica gunning has her makeup done while sitting at a bus stop at night, as members of the production crew stand nearby, while filming the netflix series 'baby reindeer'

Jessica Gunning has her makeup done during a night shoot for Baby Reindeer.

(Image credit: Ed Miller/Netflix)

In the weeks since Baby Reindeer premiered on Netflix, social media has filled with speculation about the real-life identities of the show's characters. Some viewers have gone on to wrongly accuse people of being the inspiration behind Martha, as well as the character Darrien, a man played in the show by Tom Goodman-Hill who sexually assaults Donny.

After theater director Sean Foley was falsely accused of being the real-life counterpart of Darrien, he posted a statement on X stating that police are investigating "defamatory abusive and threatening posts" brought against him.

Following Foley's post, Gadd shared a statement of his own on his Instagram Stories, per Deadline. “People I love, have worked with, and admire (including Sean Foley) are unfairly getting caught up in speculation,” Gadd wrote in the now-expired post. “Please don’t speculate on who any of the real life people could be. That’s not the point of our show.”

Jessica Gunning and Richard Gadd attend the gala screening of "Love Lies Bleeding" at the Prince Charles Cinema on April 30, 2024 in London, England.

Jessica Gunning and Richard Gadd attend a screening of Love Lies Bleeding on April 30, 2024 in London, England.

(Image credit: Dave Benett/WireImage)

Gunning has also spoken out on the speculation. While speaking with Dazed, the actress highlighted that Gadd and Netflix went to "huge measures" to protect the identities of the real-life people who inspired the series.

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."

Gunning continued, "That’s definitely not what our intention was in any way. Huge measures were put in place for nobody to be identified on purpose. Netflix and Richard really didn’t want that. So I think it is a shame. I imagine it’s inevitable because people are fascinated nowadays with true stories, but I would urge people to think of the individuals and not do that."

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.