Baby Reindeer’s Richard Gadd Was Asked Again About The ‘IRL Martha’ AKA Fiona Harvey & It’s Tea

Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott and Fiona Harvey

Baby Reindeer star and creator Richard Gadd has opened up about the blurred lines between his real story and the fictionalised version, particularly in regards to the character of Martha. 

Both Gadd and Netflix have come under scrutiny over whether they did enough to protect the real identities of the people who inspired Baby Reindeer characters, with Fiona Harvey – the former lawyer who claims she’s the “real” Marthafiling a $170 million lawsuit against the streaming service

Gadd has always reiterated that his show isn’t a completely true story, and asked internet sleuths to stop searching for their real-life counterparts. In a new interview, he added that he left co-star Jessica Gunning – who plays Martha Scott – completely in the dark when it came to the ‘real Martha’. 

“I didn’t share any real-life voicemails or emails with Jessica, and she was also very good at being like, ‘I just need the script and that’s fine’. I wanted Martha to take on a life of its own to exist outside of the real-life people,” he told Variety

“I didn’t want it to be like an actor trying to inhabit a person, I wanted it to be its own character.”

Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer

Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer. (Image: Netflix)

Gunning confirmed this, saying that her character and Gadd’s character Donny Dunn were already “clear” characters. 

“I didn’t want to muddy it by confusing it with any information about the real person. Because obviously, this is told through Donny’s point of view and it’s based on a true story that happened to Richard, but he’s a character,” she said. 

Gadd previously dodged questions after an interviewer from The Hollywood Reporter asked if he’d been following Harvey’s claims she was the real-life Martha.

“I can’t confirm or deny anything relating to the real-life people who the characters are based on in the show. I know for every single part, there’s been about five or six people who have been sort of named as each part, even all the way down to the pub manager,” he said. 

“There was a video the other day someone had sent me of someone claiming to be Teri. I’d never met them before in my life.”

Richard Gadd had ‘empathy’ for the real-life Martha

Gadd hasn’t confirmed who the ‘real Martha’ is, but in the same Variety interview, he said he felt sorry for his stalker while it was happening.

“I remember just feeling a lot of empathy for them, and like, why isn’t there help for this person?” he recalled. 

“I don’t understand how they’re not being helped, or they’re just allowed to be out there in the world just sorta doing the things that they’re doing, and also just in a clear emotional state of pain most of the time.”

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer

Gadd and his relationship with his stalker was complicated. (Image: Netflix)

He made a clear decision to show how “vulnerable” the character of Martha was, hoping that the audience would care for her. 

“[My stalking experience] was just nothing like I’d seen on television, where it’s insidiously evil, and I felt like I was really up against someone who couldn’t help what they were doing,” he explained. 

Gadd has yet to respond to Harvey’s lawsuit, but Netflix has said they “intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story”.

It’s thought that over 60 million people have watched the hit show since its release in April.

Feature image: Netflix & Piers Morgan Uncensored