Baby Reindeer's 'real life Martha' will 'always carry a major scar'

Fiona Harvey's lawyer Richard Roth spoke to Yahoo

Fiona Harvey pictured on Piers Morgan Uncensored. (YouTube grab)
Fiona Harvey pictured on Piers Morgan Uncensored. (YouTube grab)

The lawyer for Baby Reindeer's 'real life Martha' has told Yahoo that Fiona Harvey's life will never be the same again, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit against Netflix.

Harvey identified herself as Martha from Baby Reindeer who she believes to be based on herself. In Baby Reindeer, Martha Scott (Jessica Gunning) stalks Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) after he gives her a free cup of tea at the bar where he works.

Harvey is suing Netflix for £135million, with her lawyer telling us that he believes she's entitled to "significant money" and an apology from Netflix. The lawsuit filed in California accused the streaming platform of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gross negligence and violations of her right of publicity. Netflix said in response: "We intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story."

Her lawyer Richard Roth told Yahoo that Harvey will never be a private person for the rest of her life and that before Baby Reindeer "she was not a celebrity". "This woman was never in the limelight and she was thrust into the limelight because of Netflix," he said.

Read more: Baby Reindeer's 'real life Martha' has to wear a mask in public, says lawyer

The lawyer representing Fiona Harvey, Richard Roth. (ITV screengrab)
The lawyer representing Fiona Harvey, Richard Roth. (ITV screengrab)

"Unequivocally this has changed her life. She's never gonna be a private citizen for the rest of her life. I think it's very, very negative. The reason why she came out and did Piers Morgan was because she was getting all these death threats and she wanted to set the record straight.

"People knew who she was before she even came out and everyone knows who she is. It's terrible for that to happen to you. It's a major, major scar that she will always be carrying."

This was one of the big reasons why Roth, a lawyer with 40 years of experience, decided to take on the high-profile case against Netflix. "This woman has really been shattered," he said. "She received death threats. She is worried to go out and buy groceries. She has to walk around in a mask, totally in disguise so she doesn't have to deal with it."

Baby Reindeer began with the statement: "This is a true story." Baby Reindeer viewers saw the character Martha get nine years jail time and a five-year restraining order. In an interview with The Times, Gadd said he "didn't want to throw someone who was that level of mentally unwell in prison". Plus, he told The Guardian that real life events were "tweaked slightly to create dramatic climaxes". Harvey's lawyer pointed out that Harvey doesn't have any criminal convictions in real life.

Read more: What we know and don't know about 'Martha' from Baby Reindeer suing Netflix

Baby Reindeer (Netflix)
Baby Reindeer took the world by storm. (Netflix)

"What did they do to disguise her?" Roth asked. "In today's day and age you have to properly disguise characters in a show to make sure they can't be found and it would not have been hard. You didn't have to make her look like Fiona. You didn't have to have her have a Scottish accent."

As a result, Roth claimed Harvey is entitled to a significant payout and an apology. He added: "A real apology and significant money for Fiona is really the only answer because you can't undo what has happened. I mean, the old saying is you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. It's out there and it's very bothersome that Netflix really had no regard for her."

Yahoo reached out to Netflix's representatives for further comment.