Woman Who Says She Inspired ‘Baby Reindeer’ Character Denies Stalking

As the surprise success of “Baby Reindeer,” the Netflix drama about a comedian and his stalker, has highlighted the complications that can arise from basing a popular series on real events, a woman who claims to be the inspiration for the stalker character said on Thursday that much of the show’s plot was untrue, calling it a “work of fiction.”

In the four weeks since “Baby Reindeer” debuted, it has been viewed more than 56 million times, according to data released by Netflix. The intense interest in the seven-episode series, which is billed as a true story based on the experience of the comedian Richard Gadd, has also spawned an army of amateur detectives trying to uncover the actual identities of the characters onscreen.

Those efforts have resulted in the online abuse of a British writer and director as well as blowback for Netflix officials, one of whom was questioned about the streamer’s “duty of care” by a British lawmaker this week. Gadd has all but begged internet sleuths to stop digging, writing on social media: “Please don’t speculate on who any of the real life people could be. That’s not the point of the show.”

But in an interview that ran Thursday, Fiona Harvey, who says that the show’s stalker character was modeled after her, provided her side of the story on camera for the first time.

In “Baby Reindeer,” a woman named Martha (Jessica Gunning) approaches an aspiring comedian, Donny (Gadd), while he is working as a bartender and eventually torments him through emails and voice mail messages.

In an hourlong interview on YouTube with the television personality Piers Morgan, Harvey said she had not watched the series — “I think I’d be sick,” she said — but had become aware of her connection to it after reading news media reports and being contacted by journalists. Certain details in the show had convinced some viewers that Harvey was the inspiration for Martha.

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