Netflix’s latest chilling true crime series, Baby Reindeer, quickly rose to the top of the charts upon its release in April 2024 and had fans at the edge of their seats. The show sees a man being stalked by a woman named Martha, but is there a “Martha” in real life? Baby Reindeer creator and star Richard Gadd has shared insight into the true story that inspired the series, while a woman claiming to be the real-life stalker has spoken out.

What Is Netflix’s ‘Baby Reindeer’ About?

Baby Reindeer, an adaptation of the stage play by the same name, stars Gadd as a comedian named Donny who works at a bar. One night, Martha (played by Jessica Gunning) arrives at the bar in tears, so Donny offers her a cup of tea on the house to cheer her up. The woman, who claims to be a lawyer, is touched by Donny’s kindness and becomes infatuated with him. She visits the bar regularly, nicknames Donny “Baby Reindeer” and flirts with him constantly.

At first, Donny entertains Martha’s attention, but she starts to make him uncomfortable when she sends him hundreds of emails per day. Soon, this escalates to thousands of emails, hundreds of tweets, dozens of Facebook messages and hundreds of hours of voicemail messages. She also starts to harass Donny’s friends and family and sabotage his relationships.

Is Martha From ‘Baby Reindeer’ Based on a Real Person?

Baby Reindeer is based on Gadd’s real-life experience with a stalker, although he told Variety that he changed some aspects of the show for “legal and artistic purposes.” And while Martha is based on a real person, Gadd has not — and likely will not — reveal their identity. In fact, he asked fans not to speculate on Martha’s true identity or the identities of other characters.

“People I love, have worked with, and admire (including Sean Foley) are unfairly getting caught up in speculation,” Gadd wrote on his Instagram Stories on April 22, 2024. “Please don’t speculate on who any of the real life people could be. That’s not the point of our show.”

Is Martha From Baby Reindeer Real? Alleged Stalker Speaks Out
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Sky

After viewers incorrectly speculated that Foley was the person who stalked Gadd in real life, the director and writer wrote on X, “Police have been informed and are investigating all defamatory abusive and threatening posts against me.”

A Woman Claimed to Be the Inspiration Behind Martha in ‘Baby Reindeer’

After Baby Reindeer’s success, an unnamed woman came forward to claim that she was the inspiration behind the show’s stalker and was considering legal action for defamation.

“He’s using Baby Reindeer to stalk me now,” she told The Daily Mail in an interview published on April 26, 2024. “I’m the victim. He’s written a bloody show about me.”

The woman claimed that Gadd was “bullying an older woman on television for fame and fortune” and that she has allegedly received “death threats and abuse from Richard Gadd supporters” who figured out her identity.

Gadd has not responded to the woman’s claims.

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