Baby Reindeer: Has Richard Gadd’s real stalker been revealed?

Daisy Phillipson
Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer

Netflix’s Baby Reindeer is based on the true story of Richard Gadd’s stalking ordeal — but has his real-life stalker been revealed?

The new seven-part series is an adaptation of Gadd’s play of the same name, centering on Donny Dunn (Gadd), a comic/barman who is forced to confront his past trauma when serial stalker Martha (Jessica Gunning) sets her sights on him.

Ever since its release on Netflix, new details about the real case have continued to emerge, including a throwback stand-up set of Gadd’s that mirrors the viral breakdown video in Baby Reindeer. 

One of the biggest question marks hangs over the identity of Martha in real life. Though Gadd doesn’t want to share who she is, it hasn’t stopped speculation. 

Has Richard Gadd’s real stalker been revealed?

Gadd’s stalker hasn’t been officially revealed. Many fans have accused Fiona Harvey of being the real-life inspiration for the character, but she’s denied the allegations.

The 58-year-old, from Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, ended up at the center of fans’ speculation after they uncovered Harvey’s old tweets to Gadd, resembling lines that were used in the show.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, Harvey said she didn’t know Gadd but knew he worked in London pub The Hawley Arms after moving to the city over a decade ago to work as a lawyer. She also alleges in the post that Gadd “will defame anyone” and “do anything to make money.”

In a later post, she added: “Can I just reiterate to Richard Gadd’s followers. I am not Martha. I am Fiona. I have been informed by various different sources this morning that Richard Gadd’s supporters are still attacking me online. I am Nothing to do with his infernal plays. I am Not Martha.

“I don’t fantasise and make up stories. I am however seeing death threats to me and unwelcome posts on my account from Richard Gadd supporters. All of these names and comments from people I don’t know are being sent to police and lawyers.”

She’s since spoken to The Scottish Sun and said she’ll sue Netflix. “I have a claim against Netflix as this is being billed as part of a true story. I’m a highly competent lawyer. I’d have to do it myself. I’m very good. I have a photographic memory and can memorise huge files. I was top in my school at everything,” she said.

“He’s come up with this character called Martha and he has put me right in the frame. This is a programme for the 20-somethings. The people with no lives, no jobs, whatever. I don’t want to be a celebrity.”

Other viewers have also suspected it’s Maria Marchese, who was arrested years prior for the long-term stalking of doctor Jan Falkowski and his then-partner Deborah Pemberton.

The suggestion came up in a new viral video shared by TikToker @goggle_tok, showing Gadd making the same Venus and Serena Williams joke as he does in the Netflix series. 

In the background, to the left of the screen, an audience member can be heard laughing loudly, with the TikTok user suggesting it sounds similar to Martha’s laugh. In Baby Reindeer, a similar situation unfolded during one of Donny’s sets, except Martha’s the only one chuckling. 

Taking to the comments section, one said, “Listen towards the end she’s laughing from the left.” While the OP asked, “Anyone else convinced it’s her who also filmed this?” A third added, “The actress nailed the laugh damn.”

Others shared theories as to who they believe is the real Martha, with one writing, “Look up Maria Marchese, thank me later.” 

Another name put forward is Helen Faure, a stalker who was convicted last year for harassing a civil litigation barrister in the UK. “I just googled Helen Faure and the exact article about stalking the barrister comes up from the series! And she looks just like Martha,” said one. 

However, as other users have pointed out, Gadd didn’t want Baby Reindeer viewers to know the identity of the stalker. And the dates for both Faure and Marchese don’t line up. 

“It’s not her, she was in prison when that happened to him,” commented one TikToker in response to the Marchese suggestion. Gadd’s first encounter with his stalker was in 2015, and it went on for approximately three years. 

Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning in Baby Reindeer
Jessica Gunning plays Richard Gadd’s stalker in Baby Reindeer

Reports suggest that Marchese was sentenced to nine years for her crimes against Falkowski and Pemberton – which included false rape accusations and death threats — in 2012, while others state that it was in 2007. Either way, it wouldn’t add up to when Gadd was targeted.

The only reports on Faure refer to the 2023 case, where she was convicted of stalking her ex-partner of seven months, civil litigation barrister Charles Béar KC. Though some are convinced she is Gadd’s stalker, others have pointed out that “we don’t know because he doesn’t want to announce it.”

“No one knows,” said another. “He’s hiding her identity for a reason and he changed details of the real stalker to conceal it.”

Baby Reindeer is streaming on Netflix now. You can read our breakdown of the ending here. And if you’re looking for something fresh to watch, take a look at the new true crime documentaries out this month, as well as the TV shows to add to your watchlist.

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on