Viewers horrified by Piers Morgan’s ‘excruciating’ ‘unethical’ interview with real-life Baby Reindeer Martha

Fiona Harvey criticised the TV series as untrue in the sit down chat with Piers Morgan

Alexander Butler,Tom Murray
Friday 10 May 2024 11:09 BST
'Get a job': 'Real' Martha sends message to Richard Gadd over Baby Reindeer
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The woman who allegedly inspired Richard Gadd’s hit drama series Baby Reindeer has threatened to sue Netflix in a bizarre and uncomfortable TV interview with Piers Morgan.

In a pre-recorded sitdown widely branded as an ‘unethical’, Scottish lawyer Fiona Harvey was forced to deny multiple times she had stalked comedian Mr Gadd between 2014 and 2015.

Before the episode aired on YouTube, viewers questioned the ethics of Morgan’s decision to interview Ms Harvey since Gadd told The Independent that the real person who inspired Martha was “mentally unwell”.

As it aired, fears about the ethics of the show were realised and many fans shared their guilt about watching the interview. “Part of me doesn’t want to watch the interview but I can’t stop watching,” said one.

“Time to watch Piers Morgan conducting one of the most unethical interviews ever,” added another.

During the interview, which has amassed nearly 4m views in just 12 hours, Ms Harvey denied sending Gadd 41,000 emails and 100 letters while stalking him. Netflix has previously claimed that the emails in the show are the real emails received by Gadd from his stalker.

“I think he probably made them up himself,” Ms Harvey alleged, instead suggesting she sent him just “a handful”. When pressed by Morgan for a number, she said she sent the comedian “less than 10 emails”.

The 58-year-old also claimed she had only met the comedian a few times and asked him to “leave her alone” in the tense exchange with broadcaster Piers Morgan.

Piers Morgan has promised to satiate fans’ desires by airing an interview with Fiona Harvey
Piers Morgan has promised to satiate fans’ desires by airing an interview with Fiona Harvey (Piers Morgan/X)

Speaking on Piers Morgan Uncensored, she said: “I will be taking legal action against Richard Gadd and Netflix. We have instructed lawyers in part, but we want to explore all of the options out there. There are a number of people to sue.”

In the wide-ranging interview that poses questions about spotlighting vulnerable individuals for entertainment, and the role of Ofcom in policing online content, she revealed details of her “impoverished” but middle class upbringing in Scotland and that she was in a five-year relationship with a male lawyer.

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Ms Harvey said: “My mother worked incredibly hard. My parents got divorced when I was nine but she worked like a Trojan.”

She also said she has a lawyer boyfriend who she has been in a relationship with for five years and he finds the show and news coverage “horrendous”.

Asked if she had watched the drama, she replied: “Not at all. I’ve heard about the court scene, about the jail sentences and all this sort of stuff… I haven’t watched any of it.”

She counter-claimed the allegations of stalking and said she was in fact the victim.

She also discussed her treatment online after fans of the show discovered her identity. “It’s taken over enough of my life,” she said. “I find it quite obscene. I find it horrifying, misogynistic. Some of the death threats have been really terrible online. People phoning me up. You know, it’s been absolutely horrendous.”

However, Ms Harvey did admit to coming up with the nickname that inspired the series: “I had a toy reindeer and he’d shaved his head, that bit is true, and there were reindeers in the shops because it was Christmas time or something. It was a joke. So I have inadvertently penned the name of the show.”

The Independent has contacted Gadd’s representatives for comment.

Fiona Harvey on ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’
Fiona Harvey on ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ (YouTube)

Ms Harvey also denied she had ever been convicted of stalking Mr Gadd or that she had ever been sent to prison.

“It is completely untrue and very career damaging. I want to rebutt that. I’m not a stalker. It’s just complete nonsense.”

Asked if she had a message for Richard Gadd if he was watching, she said: “Leave me alone, please. Get a life, get a proper job. I am horrified at what you’ve done.”

Morgan has faced a backlash from mental health campaigners and survivors of stalking over his “irresponsible” decision to interview the woman.

Speaking to the Daily Record, she claimed she was paid £250 for the interview and had turned down requests from the likes of This Morning to talk about the series.

The chilling real-life drama was inspired by the ordeal suffered by Scottish creator and leading man Richard Gadd – who is called Donny Dunn in the show.

Working as a struggling stand-up comic, Dunn first meets his stalker after he offered “a crying stranger a cup of tea” while he was working at a pub in London.

Ms Harvey said she never got the impression the comedian Gadd felt sorry for her and that she regretted ever visiting the Hawley Arms pub in Camden, London, where the pair met.

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