The Scottish woman who publicly outed herself as the inspiration for Martha, the stalker character in Netflix's hit series Baby Reindeer, is now suing Netflix for damages, defamation, and for causing "severe and extreme emotional distress."

Los Gatos-based Netflix is facing legal action from Fiona Harvey, the Scottish woman who says she was the inspiration for the crazed stalker who upended comedian Richard Gadd's life, and served as the inspiration for the series he created based on his own story, Baby Reindeer. Harvey is suing for $170 million, as Bloomberg reports, which includes $120 million in damages and $50 million in recovered profit made from the series.

The legal complaint contends that the series "viciously" misrepresents Harvey's character, and inaccurately suggests that she had a criminal history of stalking. It also says that Netflix used Harvey's "identity and likeness” for profit that resulted in “severe and extreme emotional distress."

Netflix issued a brief statement in response saying, "We intend to defend this matter vigorously and to stand by Richard Gadd’s right to tell his story."

One wrinkle in Harvey's tale is that, were it not for own activities online — and the work of some online sleuths — and her own choice to out herself on television, no one might have ever known she was the inspiration for the Martha character. Harvey appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored on May 9, less than one month after Baby Reindeer premiered, claiming to want to set the record straight about her portrayal. In particular, she denied sending 41,000 emails to Gadd — which presumably is something Gadd can disprove — and said she had only known him for "two or three months" when he worked at a pub, and that they were just old friends.

Not long after that Piers Morgan interview, one of the details from the Netflix series about the character's stalking history appeared to be confirmed: 62-year-old UK barrister Laura Wray, the widow of former MP Jimmy Wray, went on Morgan's show to discuss how she had been stalked by Harvey for five years.

Another, perhaps difficult obstacle for the legal case is that the Netflix series, while introduced with the words, "This is a true story," also contains the caveat that it "is based on real events: however certain characters, names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes."

The legal complaint argues that Netflix "never investigated whether Harvey was convicted," calling this "a very serious misrepresentation of the facts." And it contends that the company "did nothing to understand the relationship between Gadd and Harvey, if any."

The suit also claims that Harvey's "life had been ruined" by the series, and that Netflix "destroyed her reputation, her character, and her life."

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles, in the US District Court for the Central District of California.

Baby Reindeer premiered on Netflix on April 11, and has gone on to be extremely popular among viewers. It is based on Gadd's one-man theater show of the same name that he first performed in 2019 — a confessional piece about the stalking experience which followed an earlier one he had done about his own sexual assault, Monkey See Monkey Do, which won the Edinburgh Comedy Prize in 2016. That material is also woven into the Netflix series.

Gadd earlier told GQ that he and the creative team had "gone to such great lengths to disguise [the Martha character] to the point that I don’t think she would recognize herself." And he told The Hollywood Reporter in May, "if I wanted the real life people to be found, I would’ve made it a documentary."

Gadd is not named as a defendant in Harvey's suit.

Photo courtesy of Netflix