Baby Reindeer leads to police probe as fans wrongly accuse man of being Richard Gadd’s abuser

Richard Gadd stars as Donny, a character based on himself in hit Netflix series Baby Reindeer. Credit: Netflix

By Rachel Dixon Multimedia Producer

This article contains spoilers.

Police are investigating speculation on social media around the true identity of one of the characters portrayed in hit Netflix show Baby Reindeer.

The thriller, which has shot to the most watched show in the UK on the streaming platform this week and is also in the top ten in 86 other countries, follows the real-life story of comedian Richard Gadd, who plays a character based on himself called Donny.

In the series, his relationship with stalker Martha plays out, as she follows him to comedy gigs and bombards him with text messages.

The show, which has been viewed 13,300,000 times since its release on April 11, also explores Gadd's trauma after he claims he was sexually abused by a male director and writer on the comedy circuit.

After watching the series, fans have been taking to social media to find and expose the real-life people who are portrayed in the Netflix show.

Sean Foley attending the 60th BFI London Film Festival screening of Mindhorn at the Odeon Cinema London. Credit: PA

Sean Foley, an actor, writer, director who is behind Spitting Image The Musical, confirmed he had contacted the police over allegations made against him.

"Police have been informed and are investigating all defamatory abusive and threatening posts against me," the double Olivier Award winner posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

West Midlands Police told ITV News: "We're investigating after a man reported receiving threatening messages on social media.

"Enquiries are at an early stage and we are in the process of gathering information from the victim."

People have also been searching for the person who the character Martha is based on, and sharing images as well as tweets from a user they claim could be her.

Gadd has taken to social media to ask people not to speculate on the true identity of the characters in the seven-part series.

"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," he said on Instagram.

Darrien O’Connor (played by Tom Goodman-Hill) abuses the lead character in Baby Reindeer. Credit: Netflix

It is unknown what happened to Gadd’s real abuser.

But in an interview with The Guardian he said: "Keeping this in was really hard. And I knew the only way I’d be free of it is if I start to tell people.

"I don’t think anyone knows how bad it is until it happens. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I think.”

He also has not disclosed what happened to his real stalker, except other than he managed to get a restraining order against her, according to the interview with the Guardian from 2019.

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