Who’s Baby Reindeer’s Martha in Real Life? A Woman Who Claims To Be Richard Gadd’s Stalker Says She’s The ‘Victim’


It’s Netflix‘s latest hit about a comedian and his stalker—and it’s based on true events. If you’ve been watching this series, you might be wondering who is Baby Reindeers Martha in real life and what happened to her.

Richard Gadd conceptualized Baby Reindeer after a woman sent him 41,071 emails, 350 hours’ worth of voicemails, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages, 106 pages of letters, and a variety of weird gifts, including a reindeer toy, sleeping pills, a woolly hat and boxer shorts over the course of four years. It began as a one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe and it got picked up by Netflix began and Gadd as a fictionalized version of himself named Donny Dunn. The show explores his traumas and how the situation affected his career and personal life.

“Stalking on television tends to be very sexed-up. It has a mystique,” Gadd told Netflix’s Tudum. It’s somebody in a dark alley way. It’s somebody who’s really sexy, who’s very normal, but then they go strange bit by bit,” Gadd explains. “But stalking is a mental illness. I really wanted to show the layers of stalking with a human quality I hadn’t seen on television before. It’s a stalker story turned on its head. It takes a trope and turns it on its head.”

So who is Baby Reindeer’s Martha in real life?

Who is Baby Reindeer’s Martha in real life?

Gadd has not disclosed the identity of the real-life Martha due to privacy as well as legal reasons. “We’ve gone to such great lengths to disguise her to the point that I don’t think she would recognize herself,” he explained to GQ. “What’s been borrowed is an emotional truth, not a fact-by-fact profile of someone.”

A woman who claimed to be the inspiration of Martha came forward to Daily Mail to talk about her thoughts on the show. “‘He’s using Baby Reindeer to stalk me now,” the anonymous woman told the gossip site. “I’m the victim. He’s written a bloody show about me.” Daily Mail claimed that the woman had an uncanny resemblance to Martha in the show and shares several key similarities with her on-screen persona. 

What happened to Baby Reindeer‘s Martha in real life?

Gadd himself, doesn’t know where the whereabouts of the real-life Martha. He had a restraining order against her but did not want her to go to prison. According to an interview with The Times UK, he “didn’t want to throw someone who was that level of mentally unwell in prison.” He felt “mixed feelings about it” but that the situation was now “resolved.”

On why he felt a sense of empathy for the real life Martha, he told GQ UK, “Someone comes in who seems very normal, they seem perfect, but bit by bit they get weirder and weirder. Stalking is a mental dysfunction, it’s an illness and I wasn’t dealing with someone who felt calculated or insidious. I felt I was dealing with someone who was vulnerable, somebody who was mentally ill, someone who couldn’t stop because they believed what was in their head.”

“I can think of numerous examples where people have complained to the police about a stalker but because maybe they’ve had a previous relationship the police haven’t taken it seriously. They can look for a concrete reason to arrest… but sometimes situations are more nuanced than that. The first thing the police should do is try to preserve the safety of the person who is making the report rather than going through a long, arduous process to work out whether they should believe them or not.”

Who plays Martha in Baby Reindeer?

Martha is played by Jessica Gunning. Gadd was super impressed with her audition and performance. “What I needed to see was the essence of the person, the kind of energy, and no one did it like Jess,” he told Variety. “She’s phenomenal. I needed to see someone who was vulnerable one moment, angry the next, volatile but so desperate and sympathetic. I needed to see someone who could capture a full gamut of emotions. When somebody has severe mental health problems, they tend to leap from one emotion to the next, sometimes even quite quickly. And that’s very hard to do from an acting point of view, but Jess seems to have it in her pores, it seems to just fall out of her.”





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