Lawyer breaks down the Baby Reindeer scenes Netflix should have cut to keep Martha anonymous

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Viewers quickly claimed to have identified the ‘real-life Martha’ after watching Baby Reindeer

A lawyer specializing in privacy has broken down certain details that should have been left out of Netflix’s Baby Reindeer in order to protect the identity of the ‘real-life’ Martha.

Baby Reindeer captivated viewers

A story about a stalker and the complicated relationship between them and their victim is bound to draw attention in this crime-loving day and age, but the fact that Richard Gadd’s drama Baby Reindeer was inspired by real events made it all the more gripping.

Millions of Netflix users tuned in to watch Gadd’s character Donny Dunn attempt to deal with Martha, a woman who he took pity on when she came in to the pub where he worked, unable to afford even a cup of tea.

Over the course of the series, Martha’s obsession grew and grew, leaving Donny to try and navigate the relationship safely while also dealing with other serious issues in his life.

Sleuths find the ‘real-life Martha’

Though names and faces were changed for the series, it didn’t take long for armchair detectives to try and figure out who the ‘real-life Martha’ could be.

Eventually, she was thought to have been identified and appeared in an interview with Piers Morgan to discuss her relationship to Gadd.

A woman came forward claiming to be the person Martha is based on. (Netflix)

A woman came forward claiming to be the person Martha is based on. (Netflix)

However, Rory Lynch, a lawyer specializing in defamation and privacy at Gateley Legal, told Mail Online that Gadd and Netflix could have taken steps to better protect the identity of the woman who inspired Martha.

Martha’s gender and accent

Lynch pointed to a number of details that may have given away the identity of the ‘real-life’ Martha, one of which was the Scottish accent that actor Jessica Gunning used in the series.

The woman who later claimed to have inspired the character of Martha was also from Scotland.

Lynch also expressed belief that the series could have further concealed Martha’s identity by changing the gender of the character.

Claiming Gadd’s approach to Baby Reindeer was ‘high risk’, Lynch said: “You could argue that maybe he should have been a bit more careful about changing facts a bit more.

“Making her different, maybe doing it the other way around and making it a man as the stalker rather than a woman. Or, you know, just changing it up a bit more as there are obviously so many similarities.”

Netflix claimed it took necessary precautions to protect identities. (Netflix)

Netflix claimed it took necessary precautions to protect identities. (Netflix)

Martha’s job

Although Martha told Donny she couldn’t even afford a cup of tea in the series, she also claimed to be a high-flying lawyer working in London.

The occupation is thought to be the same one held by the woman who inspired the character.

The setting

Though Martha was from Scotland, she lived in the series in Camden, north London.

It was in the capital that the character met Donny as he worked behind the bar in a pub – the first place the two characters met for the first time.

Lynch argued these kinds of smaller details could have been changed to help protect the identity of the woman who inspired Martha, saying: “I would just try and make it as different as you can to what actually happened while still getting the story across.

“Not Scottish, and not a lawyer and not having a bar in London, but perhaps set it in a library in Manchester or something like that.”

Lynch also warned the similarities between Martha and her inspiration could act as grounds for a defamation case.

Donny and Martha met in a pub. (Netflix)

Donny and Martha met in a pub. (Netflix)

Netflix’s response

Following criticism around whether Netflix did enough to conceal the identity of those involved in Gadd’s story, Benjamin King, Netflix’s Senior Director of Public Policy in the U.K. and Ireland, defended Netflix in a statement to the Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

He said: “We did take every reasonable precaution in disguising the real-life identities of the people involved in that story in the making of the show while also striking a balance of veracity and authenticity of Richard’s story, because we didn’t want to anonymize that or make it generic to the point where it was no longer his story, because that would undermine the intent behind the show.”

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