British woman sues netflix for $170 million over blleged defamation in baby reindeer.

A British woman, Fiona Harvey, has filed a lawsuit against Netflix, claiming she was the inspiration for the stalker character in the hit series “Baby Reindeer,” and is seeking $170 million in damages. Harvey has identified herself as the real-life “Martha,” the delusional and abusive character in Richard Gadd’s show, which claims to be “a true story.”

Harvey’s lawsuit, filed in California, alleges that the statement of the show being a true story is “the biggest lie in television history.” The lawsuit accuses Netflix and Richard Gadd of fabricating the story to attract more viewers and generate profit, thereby damaging Harvey’s reputation.

“This lie was told by Netflix and the show’s creator, Richard Gadd, out of greed and lust for fame; a lie designed to attract more viewers, get more attention, to make more money, and to viciously destroy the life of Plaintiff, Fiona Harvey,” the lawsuit states.

In response, a Netflix spokesperson told AFP, “We intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story.” The seven-episode series, which premiered on Netflix in April, quickly gained popularity.

“Baby Reindeer,” based on Gadd’s one-man play, portrays a fictionalized version of Gadd’s real-life experiences. The show follows Gadd’s character as he becomes the target of Martha, who sends him thousands of emails, texts, and voice messages, harassing him, his girlfriend, and his family. The series also depicts Martha as a previously convicted stalker who sexually assaults Gadd.

Gadd has stated that he altered details about Martha to protect her identity, but viewers and internet sleuths managed to identify Harvey, leading to harassment on social media. Harvey has since appeared on British television, denying the accusations made in the show.

“The lies that Defendants told about Harvey to over 50 million people worldwide include that Harvey is a twice convicted stalker who was sentenced to five years in prison, and that Harvey sexually assaulted Gadd,” the lawsuit claims. “Defendants told these lies, and never stopped, because it was a better story than the truth, and better stories made money. And Netflix, a multinational billion-dollar entertainment streaming company, did literally nothing to confirm the ‘true story’ that Gadd told.”

The suit against Netflix includes allegations of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence, among other claims, and demands $170 million in damages.