Where Is the Real-Life Martha Now?

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of stalking and harassment. Reader discretion is advised.

Netflix series Baby Reindeer explored the real-life events that took place in comedian/actor Richard Gadd’s life. The show primarily focuses on a struggling comedian named Donny Dunn and his strange relationship with a woman named Martha Scott. As the story progresses, Donny’s life turns upside-down when he is stalked by Martha. Despite Gadd’s efforts to protect the stalker’s identity, a woman, Fiona Harvey, has recently claimed that the character of Martha was inspired by her.

According to The Sun, Fiona Harvey hails from Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. Her identity came to light when internet sleuths tracked her down after watching the series and exposed her identity. Following this, Harvey came forward with her side of the story and sat down with Piers Morgan for an interview. During the interview, Harvey shared that she received a lot of “death threats” after the series premiere. She added, “No, I think I’d be sick. It’s taken over enough of my life. I find it quite obscene. I find it horrifying, misogynistic.”

Fiona Harvey also denied sending a larger number of emails and audio messages to Richard Gadd. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the stalker sent Gadd over “41,000 emails, 744 tweets, 100 pages of letters, and 350 hours of voicemails.” In the interview, Harvey admitted that she and Gadd exchanged emails but emphasized that the show’s creator and media were exaggerating the numbers. She added, “That’s simply not true. There may have been a couple of emails exchanging, but that was it. Just jokey banter emails. Less than 10.”

She called Richard Gadd “psychotic” and claimed that she never contacted Richard Gadd through the phone. Although Fiona Harvey has already clarified that she would sue Netflix over the series, Morgan noted that she lied “quite a lot” during the interview, reported Business Insider India.

According to People Magazine, Fiona Harvey, the real-life Martha, currently lives in London.

What is the real story behind Richard Gadd’s series?

Scottish actor Richard Gadd portrays Donny in the series Baby Reindeer. According to him, the story of Donny represents his real-life experience with a stalker when he was in his 20s. According to GQ India, the stalker came into Gadd’s life after he met her at the bar where he worked.

While working, the comedian/actor started a conversation with the woman when she said she couldn’t afford a drink. People Magazine reported that Gadd offered her a drink and told her that it was on the house. Baby Reindeer shows a similar series of events as it progresses.

The outlet also mentioned that the stalker (depicted as Martha in the series) continued stalking Richard Gadd for four years and sent him several messages. People close to Gadd initially believed that the comedian-turned-actor had “an admirer.” 

However, the woman soon started stalking him and sent him thousands of audio messages and emails. In an interview with The Times, Gadd added, “Then she started to invade my life, following me, turning up at my gigs, waiting outside my house, sending thousands of voicemails and emails.”

Police never helped Gadd in the stalking incident

Richard Gadd told The Guardian in 2019 that he went to the police and told them about the stalking. However, his meetings with the authorities didn’t yield any results because they believed Gadd was harassing them by telling them about his stalking incident. He said, “I was getting told off for harassing the police about being harassed.” The actor also asserted feeling “physically scared” because he didn’t know how far his stalker would go.

However, stalking is not the only reason why Gadd decided to come out with a play and then a series about his life. The stalking began after a popular TV writer repeatedly sexually assaulted Richard Gadd in his London apartment. Although the series received critical acclaim from viewers, the Netflix series found itself in controversy when fans tried to find the real identity of the characters. As a result, the UK government sent an official warning to Netflix amid the controversy.

Baby Reindeer is currently available for streaming on Netflix and holds a rating of 98% on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.