Baby Reindeer sparks police investigation after fans’ false accusations

Baby Reindeer sparks police investigation after fans’ false accusations

Police have launched an investigation after Baby Reindeer fans wrongly accused a man of being Richard Gadd’s real-life abuser.

Gadd’s acclaimed Netflix series chronicles his real-life stalking ordeal, following character based on himself: Donny, a comedian and barman who’s continually harassed by Martha (Jessica Gunning).

However, it also explores the creator’s past trauma, with flashbacks to Donny being sexually assaulted by Darrien (Tom Goodman-Hill), a male comedy writer and producer he meets at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The show’s success has had an unfortunate consequence: people have been obsessively searching for its characters’ real-life counterparts, despite the intentional omission of anyone’s actual names.

On account of their similar appearances and Gadd having worked with him on other projects, some suspected Darrien was inspired by Sean Foley, an actor, writer, and director — but this absolutely isn’t true, as confirmed by Gadd himself.

Foley tweeted: “Police have been informed and are investigating all defamatory abusive and threatening posts against me.”

West Midlands Police also told ITV News about the Baby Reindeer investigation: “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.”

While Gadd hasn’t disclosed any details about his real abuser (or stalker, for that matter), he took to Instagram to urge fans to stop sleuthing. “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 wrote.

You can check out our breakdown of Baby Reindeer’s ending and 10 movies and TV shows to watch next.

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