Netflix breaks silence after Baby Reindeer fans find ‘real Martha’

Daisy Phillipson
Fiona Harvey on Piers Morgan's Uncensored and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer

Following the runaway success of Baby Reindeer, Fiona Harvey was tracked down and accused of being the real Martha — and now Netflix has broken its silence on the issue. 

There has been an influx of praise for Richard Gadd’s Baby Reindeer, which he based on his own experiences with a serial stalker and how they tied into past trauma.  

However, there have been questions about whether Netflix did enough to protect the identities of the people the characters are based on, especially after Harvey was tracked down due to her similarities to Martha (played by Jessica Gunning). 

Benjamin King, senior director of public policy for the streaming service’s UK and Ireland division, addressed this issue while speaking in the British parliament.

As per the Daily Mail, he said that Netflix and production company Clerkenwell Films took “every reasonable precaution in disguising the real-life identities of the people involved in that story.”

That being said, King also stated that they didn’t want to take away from the “veracity and authenticity” of Gadd’s story. 

“We didn’t want to anonymise that or make it generic to the point where it was no longer his story because that would undermine the intent behind the show,” King explained.

“Ultimately, it’s obviously very difficult to control what viewers do, particularly in a world where everything is amplified by social media.

“I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with a world in which we decided it was better that Richard was silenced and not allowed to tell the story.”

Although Gadd asked Baby Reindeer fans to stop speculating about the characters’ real-life counterparts, many continued their search, eventually landing on Harvey, a 58-year-old law graduate from Aberdeenshire, Scotland. 

She’s been accused of being the real Martha, and last night she appeared on Piers Morgans’ talk show Uncensored, sparking a debate on whether this should have been allowed.

SNP MP John Nicolson asked King if Netflix had given any support to Harvey, to which he replied, “I cannot get into the specifics of what happened around the making of the show because it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment. 

“I don’t want to give further fuel to some of the theories which are circling on the internet.” He added that the streamer had worked closely with the stalking survivor charity, Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

As per the editor’s notes of Piers’ Harvey interview, “Netflix and Clerkenwell Films were approached to respond to the allegations made in this interview. They chose not to comment.”

The Real Martha Uncensored is available to watch on YouTube now. You can find out more about if Harvey was ever convicted here. For more on the Netflix series, here’s the Baby Reindeer ending explained, as well as TV shows and movies to watch next and the best series of 2024 so far.