Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

Scottish woman sues Netflix for $170 million over defamation in 'Baby Reindeer' show, streaming giant responds

A $170 million lawsuit has been filed against Netflix by Fiona Harvey, a Scottish woman, over alleged defamation stemming from the hit show "Baby Reindeer."

Scottish woman sues Netflix for $170 million over defamation in 'Baby Reindeer' show, streaming giant responds snt
Author
First Published Jun 8, 2024, 9:25 PM IST

A $170 million lawsuit has been filed against Netflix by Fiona Harvey, a Scottish woman, over alleged defamation stemming from the hit show "Baby Reindeer." Harvey claims that the streaming platform failed to fact-check comedian Richard Gadd's story before promoting the series as a "true story."

The show, which premiered in April and garnered significant global attention, follows Gadd's ordeal of being stalked by a woman named Martha Scott. Shortly after its release, online investigators linked Harvey to the character.

In her legal complaint filed in a California federal court, Harvey asserts that Netflix and Gadd disseminated "brutal lies" that tarnished her character. She contends that the series inaccurately portrays her as a convicted felon imprisoned for stalking and denies any instance of sexually assaulting Gadd, a narrative depicted in one scene.

Fiona Harvey's lawsuit alleges defamation and negligence on the part of Netflix and Richard Gadd.

The complaint outlines that as a consequence of the show, Fiona Harvey has been subjected to death threats, leading her to rarely venture outside, and causing her to suffer from anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. She is requesting a jury trial and a minimum of $170 million in damages for defamation, negligence, and emotional distress.

Netflix has pledged to "defend this matter vigourously" itself against these allegations and has affirmed its support for Richard Gadd's right to share his narrative. Gadd has previously stated that while inspired by actual events, the show altered identifying details and aimed to "exit in the sphere of art". Neither Gadd nor Jessica Gunning, who portrays Martha, have responded to the lawsuit.

"Baby Reindeer" quickly ascended to the summit of Netflix's most-viewed rankings following its premiere two months ago. Gadd initially recounted his experience with a stalker in a solo performance at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival before Netflix adapted it into a series. Despite Gadd's appeals for viewers to refrain from uncovering real identities, online investigators swiftly linked Harvey to the character due to similarities.

Legal experts anticipate that the case is unlikely to proceed to trial. Instead, they predict Netflix will pursue a settlement, mirroring its actions earlier this week in resolving a separate defamation lawsuit related to its 2019 series "When They See Us."

Latest Videos
Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios