Baby Reindeer: Who Is the Real Martha? New Details Shared by Lead Actor

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Baby Reindeer Martha

Baby Reindeer's release on Netflix has viewers wondering who the real Martha is.

Based on a true story, Baby Reindeer centers on a struggling comedian who shows a woman a single act of kindness, entangling their lives in ways the comedian could not have predicted.

This show was inspired by a play written by Richard Gadd, who based the story on a real experience he had with a stalker and wanted to share that story in a more public forum.

Who Is Baby Reindeer's Martha?

Martha in Baby Reindeer

Baby Reindeer is based on creator Richard Gadd's real-life experience with a stalker, depicted in the series under the name Martha. Gadd has not publicly revealed his stalker's identity, and Martha is only used as her name within the series and the play.

In the real story, Gadd initially made the woman a cup of tea for free while working in a pub after she told him she could not afford a drink.

This is a moment Gadd has replayed over and over in his head, as the woman eventually stalked him for four and a half years. He remembered people at the pub thinking it was "funny that [he] had an admirer," but it quickly got scary as she bombarded him with messages and showed up at his house:

"At first everyone at the pub thought it was funny that I had an admirer.  Then she started to invade my life, following me, turning up at my gigs, waiting outside my house, sending thousands of voicemails and emails."

Over those years, Martha sent Gadd 41,071 emails and left 350 hours of voicemail. She also sent 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages, 106 pages of letters, sleeping pills, a woolly hat, a pair of boxer shorts, and even a reindeer toy.

Gadd went to the police about Martha, but they did not believe his story, with Gadd telling The Times how many see a man being stalked as "a sexy thing," as shown in movies and TV shows. He made it clear that he was still scared not knowing "how far she could take it," even though there was not the same physical threat there might be with a male stalker:

"When a man gets stalked it can be portrayed in films and television as a sexy thing. Like a femme fatale who gradually becomes more sinister. It doesn’t carry as much threat of physical violence, is less common and can be trivialised. I was physically scared because I didn’t know how far she could take it, she could have a knife, but I did think how terrifying it would be if she was a tall scary man."

Gadd had to prove that she was stalking him by recording her messages and digging through them for threats against him or people close to him, which took an exorbitant amount of time due to volume.

In the show, Martha was sentenced to nine months in prison and got a five-year restraining order. In real life, Gadd has not given any specifics other than "it is resolved," commenting on his stalker's mental health while explaining his feelings on the matter:

"I had mixed feelings about it — I didn’t want to throw someone who was that level of mentally unwell in prison."

He also told The Independent how he has felt "extraordinarily let down" by the law enforcement institution, noting that it "needs improvement" after his experience:

"I never want to lambast the police, because I think there is a national acknowledgement at the moment that the police is an institution which needs improvement. I have met very good policemen in my time. And, unfortunately, I’ve met some that I feel extraordinarily let down by."

Where Is the Real Martha Now?

As of writing, there is no information on where the real Martha is.

Gadd told The Independent that his dealings with his stalker are over, although he continues to handle the "emotional ramifications" from the ordeal:

"I suppose the situation, shall we say, my dealings with the person who stalked me is certainly over. The emotional ramifications do live on."

He also spoke with Telegraph about his stalker's possible reaction to the series and the play, hoping that she feels embarrassed by what happened:

"I don’t know how she’s reacting to it really but I’m sure with a sense of embarrassment."

However, in a separate conversation with The Independent, Gadd acknowledged his stalker's perspective as a victim too, attributing her actions to "a form of mental illness" rather than labeling her as "a monster:"

"I can’t emphasize enough how much of a victim she is in all this. When we think of stalkers, we always think of films like 'Misery' and 'Fatal Attraction,' where the stalker is a monstrous figure in the night down an alleyway. But usually, it’s a prior relationship or someone you know or a work colleague. Stalking and harassment is a form of mental illness. It would have been wrong to paint her as a monster, because she’s unwell, and the system’s failed her.”

Baby Reindeer is now streaming on Netflix.

Read more about other Netflix projects below:

Full Cast of Unlocked: A Jail Experiment Netflix: Meet the People & Inmates In New Reality Series (Photos)

3 Body Problem Season 2 Gets Promising Update from Creator

Dusty's Reduced Heartbreak High Season 2 Role Explained

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.