Netflix’s series Baby Reindeer landed on the streamer on April 11, 2024, and it quickly rose to the top of the viewing charts. The growing popularity of the show has led audiences to become curious about whether or not Baby Reindeer is based on a true story.

What Is Netflix’s ‘Baby Reindeer’ About?

Baby Reindeer was created by and stars Richard Gadd as Donny, a struggling comedian working in a bar. When a woman named Martha saddles up to the bar in tears one night, Donny takes pity on her and offers her a cup of tea, on the house. Martha, played by Jessica Gunning, claims to be a lawyer. Donny’s act of kindness leads her to become infatuated with him and give him the pet name, “Baby Reindeer.” At first, Donny politely entertains Martha’s attention, but her obsession grows and before long, Martha has become a full-blown stalker. She begins harassing Donny’s friends and family and heckling him at clubs, and eventually the abuse he suffers at the hands of Martha’s stalking begins to affect his other relationships.

Is ‘Baby Reindeer’ Based on a True Story?

Baby Reindeer is actually based on Gadd’s real life experience with a stalker, which was first performed as a stage play by the same name. However, Gadd told Variety that he added fictionalized aspects to the TV series for “legal and artistic purposes.”

Is Netflix’s Show Baby Reindeer Based on a True Story?
Ed Miller/Netflix

“It’s all emotionally 100% true, if that makes sense. It’s all borrowed from instances that happened to me and real people that I met,” Gadd said in the article published on April 19, 2024. “I mean there’s certain protections, you can’t just copy somebody else’s life and name and put it onto television. And obviously, we were very aware that some characters in it are vulnerable people, so you don’t want to make their lives more difficult. So you have to change things to protect yourself and protect other people.”

The U.K. native said that he also fictionalized parts of the story because “a lot of stalking is quite boring at times.”

What Happened to Baby Reindeer’s Martha in Real Life?

Gadd hasn’t (and likely won’t) reveal the person the character Martha is based on, but in an interview with GQ, he described the person as “quite idiosyncratic.”

“We’ve gone to such great lengths to disguise her to the point that I don’t think she would recognize herself. What’s been borrowed is an emotional truth, not a fact-by-fact profile of someone,” Gadd told the outlet.

While Gadd has declined to give many details regarding where he and his former stalker stand at the time of the series’ debut, he did make it seem as though the situation had been handled.

“Due to where things ended in real life, it’s not a concern for me,” Gadd replied when Variety asked if he was concerned his stalker might watch the show.

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