Netflix Baby Reindeer star Richard Gadd issues plea to fans looking for 'Martha'

Richard Gadd, the creator and star of Netflix's hit show Baby Reindeer, has issued a stern warning to fans who are trying to track down the real-life 'Martha Scott', who made his life unbearable.

The chilling drama series, which is currently the most-watched show on the streaming platform in over thirty countries, tells a harrowing story of how a simple act of kindness turned into a dangerous obsession.

In the series, Richard plays Donny, a character based on his own traumatic experiences of being relentlessly stalked by a woman named Martha Scott (portrayed by Jessica Gunning). In reality, Gadd's stalker sent him more than 41,000 emails, left voicemails totalling 350 hours, sent dozens of social media messages, and wrote 106 pages of letters over a three-year period.

However, it appears that fans of Baby Reindeer have become somewhat obsessed themselves, with many attempting to find the real Martha on social media. They've also been speculating about the identity of the real Darrien in the captivating seven-part Netflix series.

Yet, the creator has stepped in with a cautionary message for his audience, urging them to halt their sleuthing, emphasizing that this is not the show's intent. Gadd expressed concern for his industry colleagues, including Sean Foley, who have been wrongfully implicated due to rampant speculation.

In a heartfelt Instagram story, Richard pleaded: "Hi everyone. People I love, have worked with, and admire (including Sean Foley) are unfairly getting caught up in speculation. Please don't speculate on who the real-life people could be. That's not the point of our show. Lots of love."

Richard Gadd has pleaded with fans to stop their speculating
Richard Gadd has pleaded with fans to stop their speculating

Viewers were also gripped by episode four of Baby Reindeer, where Richard's character endures grooming and sexual assault by the influential Darrien, portrayed by Tom Goodman-Hill. The series, rooted in his real-life experiences, has sparked a frenzy on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok, with fans convinced they've pinpointed the 'real life' Darrien, who bears a striking resemblance to Goodman-Hill.

Originally premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to critical acclaim, Richard's play was lauded as 'haunting' and enjoyed a successful run at London's Bush theatre. Fast forward five years, it has become one of Netflix's most streamed successes.

Determined not to let his traumatic experience define him, Richard took the bold step of confronting his past by penning the play and series that delve into the intimate aspects of his stalking ordeal, including the nickname his stalker used for him - Baby Reindeer. With the Netflix series, Richard aimed to present a more nuanced and humanised view of stalking, challenging the often sensationalised portrayals on TV.

"Stalking on television tends to be very sexed-up and it has a mystique. It's somebody in a dark alley way. It's somebody who's really sexy, who's very normal, but then they go strange bit by bit. But stalking is a mental illness. I really wanted to show the layers of stalking with a human quality I hadn't seen on television before," he explained about his approach to the sensitive subject.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, support and resources are available at, or you can reach out to the national telephone helpline at 0808 802 9999