Netflix to Contest $170 Million Damages Claim Over ‘Baby Reindeer’

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Netflix is gearing up to defend itself against a $170 million defamation lawsuit filed by Fiona Harvey, a Scottish woman who claims she was defamed by the hit show “Baby Reindeer.” Harvey is seeking compensation for mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of business, according to her complaint filed in the District Court for the Central District of California.

“Baby Reindeer,” a Netflix miniseries, features comedian Richard Gadd recounting his experience of being stalked by a woman who bombarded him with over 40,000 emails and hundreds of hours of voice messages. Since its debut in April, the show has topped most-watched lists globally, sparking intense speculation about the characters and their real-life counterparts. Harvey was soon identified by online sleuths as the “real Martha Scott,” leading her to appear on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” to explain how the show had devastated her life.

Harvey’s complaint names Netflix, Netflix Worldwide Entertainment, and Richard Gadd, who plays the lead role, as defendants. She alleges that the defendants told the “biggest lie in television history” for financial gain, thus ruining her life.

Netflix has responded by stating its intent to vigorously defend the case and uphold Gadd’s right to tell his story. Gadd originally shared his stalking experience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019 before Netflix adapted it into a miniseries in 2021. He described the situation as “messy” and “complicated” but believed it was a story worth telling.

Gadd, alongside co-star Jessica Gunning, recently discussed the show’s success on “The Tonight Show,” highlighting its unique and traumatic narrative. Despite Gadd’s requests for viewers to respect the privacy of the real-life individuals, many sought to uncover their identities.

Harvey’s lawsuit asserts that Netflix failed to verify the show’s alleged facts, including a claim that the stalker was imprisoned for five years. She also mentioned receiving death threats shortly after the show aired, causing her significant fear and anxiety.

The complaint details how Harvey has suffered from anxiety, nightmares, panic attacks, shame, depression, nervousness, stomach pains, loss of appetite, and extreme stress since the show’s release. She remains fearful of leaving her home or checking the news.

Soukaina Sghir

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