Woman sues Netflix for $170m over Baby Reindeer character | EUROtoday

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A lady who allegedly impressed the character Martha within the hit Netflix drama Baby Reindeer is suing the streamer for defamation, negligence and privateness violations.

Fiona Harvey, a UK lawyer who says Martha relies on her, argues in a lawsuit filed in a California court docket on Thursday that Netflix informed “brutal lies” about her to over 50 million viewers around the globe.

The lawsuit seeks over $170m (£132m) in damages for Ms Harvey, who claims the Baby Reindeer collection falsely depicted her as a convicted legal who hung out in jail for stalking.

Netflix didn’t instantly reply to BBC’s request for remark.

Ms Harvey additionally refutes that she sexually assaulted the present’s creator, in response to the court docket paperwork, which allege that Netflix “told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money”.

In one scene within the collection, the Martha character is depicted as sexually assaulting the present’s protagonist alongside a canal one evening.

Speaking to BBC News on Thursday, Ms Harvey mentioned she was sure that Netflix would lose the case.

“I have no doubt about that. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing it. We think we are going to win,” she mentioned.

The first episode of the hit mini-series claims that “this is a true story”.

The present’s finish credit say that the programme “is based on real events: however certain characters, names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes”.

While giving evidence before the Culture Media and Sport Committee in Parliament last month, Netflix executive Benjamin King said the show was “clearly a real story of the horrific abuse that the author and protagonist Richard Gadd suffered by the hands of a convicted stalker”.

Mr Gadd, a comedian, wrote and stars in the series about his alleged experience of being stalked by a woman he met at the pub where he worked.

He is not named as a defendant in Ms Harvey’s lawsuit.

Neither Mr Gadd nor Ms Harvey’s real names are used in the series.

On social media, Mr Gadd has previously appealed to fans to refrain from trying to identify Martha, the stalker character he first described in a stand-up comedy routine.

Ms Harvey has identified herself as the woman portrayed as Martha in the series. Netflix and Mr Gadd have not confirmed this.

Ms Harvey’s lawsuit alleges that Netflix “did actually nothing” to confirm that Mr Gadd’s story was true before creating the series.

“It never investigated whether Harvey was convicted, a very serious misrepresentation of the facts,” the complaint states, referring to the character Martha’s prior conviction for stalking.

“It did nothing to understand the relationship between Gadd and Harvey, if any. It did nothing to determine whether other facts, including an assault, the alleged stalking or the conviction was accurate.”

Richard Roth, a New York-based lawyer representing Ms Harvey, told BBC News on Thursday that he has “incontrovertible documentary proof” proving that his shopper has by no means been convicted of a criminal offense.

The lawsuit features a photograph of a background examine and a certificates that claims that Ms Harvey has no legal convictions on her document.

Martha, the Baby Reindeer character, is a convicted stalker who’s later arrested after Mr Gadd’s character studies her to police.

Mr Roth added that there’s “no doubt” by any means Ms Harvey’s identification was used for Baby Reindeer’s plot.

Ms Harvey, who lives within the UK, says that for the reason that collection was launched in April she has obtained quite a few dying threats.

The expertise has left her “fearful of leaving her home or checking the news”, the lawsuits says, including that she has “become extremely secluded and isolated, in fear of the public, going days without leaving her home”.

In a virtually hour-long interview with Piers Morgan final month, Ms Harvey confirmed that she had identified Mr Gadd throughout his time working at a pub in London.

But she denied that she had acted just like the character Martha, who sends Mr Gadd’s character 41,000 emails and leaves 350 hours of voicemail messages within the present.

“None of that’s true. I don’t think I sent him anything,” she mentioned.

“No, I think there may have been a couple of emails exchanged, but that was it. Just jokey banter emails.”

The lawsuit does allege, nonetheless, that actual feedback that she made to Mr Gadd – equivalent to a tweet she despatched him in 2014 – are used within the present’s dialogue.