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Piers Morgan doubles down on ‘real Martha’ interview after immense backlash-Meghna Amin-Entertainment – Metro

‘Obviously, we gave it a lot of thought.’

Piers Morgan doubles down on ‘real Martha’ interview after immense backlash-Meghna Amin-Entertainment – Metro

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Piers Morgan has defended his interview with Baby Reindeer’s ‘real Martha’, Fiona Harvey, after being hit with immense backlash.

The former Good Morning Britain host, 59, sparked controversy with his Uncensored interview with Harvey, 58, about the hit Netflix series.

Richard Gadd’s seven-part drama, which is fictionalised but based on a true story, follows struggling comedian Donny (played by Gadd) meeting a woman named Martha (played by Jessica Gunning), and his experience of being stalked by her.

Things take a sinister turn when a seemingly friendly encounter grows into an obsession, as Martha begins waiting outside his house, sending him thousands of emails, and even harassing his parents and turning violent towards his girlfriend.

While Gadd urged viewers not to try and uncover Martha’s real identity, the internet sleuths quickly found her, and she later spoke out in the interview, denying what happened.

Last week, she told Morgan that the Netflix series was ‘a work of fiction, a work of hyperbole’, and said: ‘I wanted to rebut that completely on this show – I am not a stalker, I have not been to jail, I’ve not got injunctions – it is complete nonsense.’

Viewers were stunned by the ‘bizarre’ and ‘surreal’ interview, with many saying that Morgan should never have interviewed her.

Piers Morgan interviewed Baby Reindeer’s ‘real Martha’ (Picture: X/Piers Morgan)

Viewers were stunned by the ‘bizarre’ interview (Picture: X/Piers Morgan)

Jessica Gunning played Martha on the Netflix series (Picture: Ed Miller/Netflix)

However, he’s now defended his actions, discussing the ‘extraordinary global reaction’ to the interview.

He said on Monday’s Uncensored, reacting to ‘ethical concerns’ about hosting Harvey on his show and accusations he ‘exploited’ the situation: ‘Obviously we gave it a lot of thought before we interviewed Fiona Harvey, because I, like many millions of people around the world had watched the Netflix series, and it was a very harrowing series, very funny in parts.

‘It’s shocking, moving, it’s all of those things, it’s very honest if you believe that Netflix when they say, “This is a true story”, are telling the truth.’

He went on to say that the ‘real issue’ was Harvey’s identity being known after Netflix ‘chose an actress who looked like her, and they made her sound like her, they revealed it was a North London pub she had been in and they revealed all the choice of messages which could be easily tracked back to her own social media.’

‘She was furious at what she saw as an unwarranted invasion of her privacy,’ Morgan went on.

The series followed Richard Gadd sharing his experience of being stalked in a fictionalised production based on a true story (Picture: Ed Miller/Netflix)

Gadd played Donny, who was stalked by Martha after a seemingly friendly first encounter (Picture: Ed Miller/Netflix / Avalon)

‘She thought very seriously that she was being exploited for massive financial gain, that people were making a lot of money out of this story and the story was not as they claimed the true story but was a false and irresponsible mischaracterisation of the truth,’ he said.

Morgan continued: ‘I don’t know where the truth lies, because no journalist in the world has yet been able to establish that this lady Fiona Harvey has a criminal record… that she’s even been in a court room, or charged with any offence, or convicted, let alone – as the Netflix show shows – has confessed to a crime which led to a 8-month prison sentence, and that, if it is not true, to me, massively discredits the Netflix series and massively contradicts their crime it is a true story.’

The presenter then turned the discussion to a lawyer who claimed to have spoken to Harvey, who said she feels ‘extremely aggrieved at what has happened to her and her reputation’.

During the Uncensored interview, Harvey said she had six email addresses and multiple phones, and denied several parts of the Netflix series, including sexually assaulting Gadd, assaulting his girlfriend or launching at him across a bar – something Martha did in the show.

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Harvey later claimed she was ‘set up’ during the Uncensored interview (Picture: Piers Morgan Uncensored/TalkTV/PA Wire)

She added that she will be talking legal action and repeatedly denied stalking Gadd in real life, saying of the thousands of emails: ‘None of that is true. I don’t think I sent him anything. There may have been a couple of emails.’

She also claimed Gadd asked her to sleep with him with a ‘big green spot on his face’ and asked her if she’d like her ‘curtains fixed’, and elsewhere, after being grilled by Morgan over the thousands of emails, admitted she had six email addresses and multiple phones.

She later spoke out and said she felt ‘used’ by Morgan, telling the Daily Record: ‘I have my own thoughts on it that I’d like to keep to myself but I wouldn’t say I was happy. It was very rapid to try to trip me up. He did it fast paced to catch me off guard.’

‘It seemed to me that I was set up. I feel a bit used,’ Harvey added.

Meanwhile Morgan reportedly described the interaction as a ‘sparring match’ between the pair, for which his interviewee claims she was only paid £250, and he claimed she ‘lied quite a lot’.

‘But that doesn’t mean she can’t be a victim here too,’ he added.

Baby Reindeer is available to stream on Netflix and Piers Morgan Uncensored airs on YouTube weekdays at 8pm.

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