Richard Gadd has urged those watching Baby Reindeer to stop speculating on who the characters could be in real-life, following a surge of internet sleuths attempting to figure out the real identities of each person portrayed.


The series, which has shot to the number one spot on Netflix's top 10, is based on real-life experience of Richard Gadd (portrayed as Donny), who has previously spoken of being stalked and harassed by a woman (called 'Martha' in the series and played by Jessica Gunning) after offering her a drink on the house at the pub he worked at.

The seven-parter explores trauma Donny faced and how it impacted his parents, his girlfriend Teri (played by Nava Mau) and his ex-girlfriend and her mother – with each character being based on a real person.

A separate storyline also sees Donny become the victim of sexual assault, which Gadd based on his own experience of abuse.

Following its premiere on Netflix, director Sean Foley explained that he had contacted police after he was falsely accused by fans online of being the comedian's abuser.

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Foley wrote on X: "Police have been informed and are investigating all defamatory abusive and threatening posts against me."

In response to the false claims, Gadd released a statement on Instagram, urging people not to speculate on the real-life counterparts to the characters.

"People I love, have worked with, and admire (including Sean Foley) are unfairly getting caught up in speculation," Gadd wrote. "Please don't speculate on who any of the real life people could be. That's not the point of our show."

Gadd's statement was also shared by Foley on X.

Richard Gadd as Donny and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer. He is behind the bar and she is sitting on the other side pointing at him.
Richard Gadd as Donny and Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer. Ed Miller/Netflix

Jessica Gunning, who portrays Martha in the series, has also spoken out against those speculating on the identity of Gadd's stalker.

"I would urge people not to be doing that," she told Glamour. "I think if that is happening, I think it's a real, real shame, because it shows that they haven't watched the show properly. That's not the point of it in any way."

She continued: "Netflix and Richard went to extreme lengths to try and make sure that the identities were kept private for a reason... I deliberately didn't want to do an impersonation of somebody. I wanted to do an interpretation of this character."

Gadd previously told Variety that he and Netflix had gone to "such great lengths" to disguise Martha, "to the point that I don't think she would recognise herself".

"What's been borrowed is an emotional truth, not a fact-by-fact profile of someone," he said.

All seven episodes of Baby Reindeer are now available to stream on Netflix. Signup for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.


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