Netflix Faces Massive $170M Defamation Lawsuit Over 'Baby Reindeer' Character

Netflix Inc. NFLX is in the legal spotlight once again, this time facing a hefty $170 million defamation lawsuit. The suit has been filed by a Scottish woman who asserts that her portrayal in the mini-series “Baby Reindeer” was defamatory.

What Happened: Fiona Harvey, the plaintiff, lodged the lawsuit on Thursday, alleging that she was falsely depicted as a stalker in the popular series, as reported by Reuters. Harvey has publicly identified herself as the inspiration for the character Martha, played by actress Jessica Gunning in the series.

In her complaint filed in a Los Angeles federal court, Harvey accused Netflix and “Baby Reindeer” creator Richard Gadd of misrepresenting her as a twice-convicted stalker sentenced to five years in prison. Harvey refutes these allegations and asserts that this false portrayal has led to her being discussed as the “real” Martha on platforms like Reddit and TikTok.

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The lawsuit demands a minimum of $50 million each for actual damages, compensatory damages including mental anguish and profits, and an additional $20 million for punitive damages. Netflix has responded to the lawsuit, expressing its intention to “defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story.”

This legal action comes on the heels of Netflix’s settlement of a defamation lawsuit with former prosecutor Linda Fairstein over her portrayal in the 2019 series “When They See Us.”

Why It Matters: As per a Benzinga report from May, potential legal action against Netflix and Gadd over “Baby Reindeer” was already on the horizon. Harvey had expressed her intention to take legal action against Gadd and possibly Netflix for defaming her in the series.

The show, based on Gadd’s experiences in his twenties, portrays him as a victim of sexual assault and harassment from a stalker, a character Harvey claims is based on her. This lawsuit could potentially pose a significant problem for the streaming giant and Gadd.

Image via Shutterstock

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This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Shivdeep Dhaliwal

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Posted In: EntertainmentNewsTechGeneralBaby ReindeerFiona HarveyJessica GunningNetflixRichard GaddShivdeep Dhaliwal
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