Thursday, 13 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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Woman sues Netflix over Baby Reindeer character

Published : Saturday, 8 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 446

June 7: A Scottish woman who allegedly inspired the stalker character Martha in hit Netflix drama Baby Reindeer is suing the streamer for defamation, negligence and privacy violations. Fiona Harvey - who has identified herself as the woman on whom Martha is based - argued in a lawsuit that Netflix told "brutal lies" about her to over 50 million viewers around the world.

The lawsuit, filed in a California court, seeks over $170m (£132m) in damages for Ms Harvey. She claims the Baby Reindeer series falsely depicted her as a convicted criminal who spent time in prison for stalking. Netflix has vowed to "defend this matter vigorously".

It said it would stand by the right of the shows creator and star, Scottish comedian Richard Gadd, to "tell his story". Mr Gadd wrote the series about his alleged experience of being stalked by a woman he met at the pub where he worked. He has previously appealed to fans to refrain from trying to identify Martha, a character who he first described in a stand-up comedy routine. He is not named as a defendant in Ms Harveys lawsuit.

The first episode of the hit mini-series claims that "this is a true story". The shows end credits say that the programme "is based on real events: however certain characters, names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes".

Neither Mr Gadd nor Ms Harveys real names are used in the series, and neither Netflix or Mr Gadd have confirmed that Martha was based on Ms Harvey.

While giving evidence before the Culture Media and Sport Committee in Parliament last month, Netflix executive Benjamin King said the show was "obviously a true story of the horrific abuse that the writer and protagonist Richard Gadd suffered at the hands of a convicted stalker".    —BBC

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