Is Donny’s girlfriend in Baby Reindeer based on a real person?

Baby Reindeer creator Richard Gadd has been very open about the fact that the Netflix show takes inspiration from his own real life experiences with a female stalker who sent him 41,071 emails, 350 hours of voicemail, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages and 106 pages of letters over four years. However, after watching the series, many have been left wondering exactly what other details are based on reality.

The show sees Donny, an aspiring stand-up comedian, take pity on a woman who comes into the pub he works at, giving her a drink on the house and unknowingly triggering years of stalking and suffering.

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Speaking on how true to life the series and his depiction of Martha is, Gadd said in an interview with GQ that he had “gone to such great lengths to disguise her to the point that I don’t think she would recognise herself. What’s been borrowed is an emotional truth, not a fact-by-fact profile of someone.”

That said, Gadd has previously stated that the series is “pretty truthful,” explaining: “Any time it veered too much into embellishment I would always want to pull it back. It’s extremely emotionally truthful.”

But how much is true of the rest of the Baby Reindeer and is Donny’s girlfriend Teri based on a real person? Here’s everything we know.

In an interview with the Independent, Richard Gadd explained how Donny and Teri’s relationship was informed by his own experiences and relationship dating a trans woman.

One of the key subplots of Baby Reindeer sees Donny strike up a relationship with Teri, a trans woman played by Nava Mau. The show sees Donny grappling with feelings of shame around the relationship, with him initially lying about his name and job to Teri, with these specific elements of the show taking inspiration from Gadd’s own life.

“It’s in the public consciousness now, but it wasn’t back then, when I was dating,” he explained.

“It felt so new that it added a certain pressure, to me, that I really regret now. But that’s what it explores in the show. This story was set back in a time when things were very different.”

He adds: “We had all kinds of advisors – diversity advisors, trans advisors – to make sure that what we were doing was gonna be the right thing. But not in a way where the art felt compromised or anything was watered down. They were very good in terms of knowing the kind of complicated story we were trying to tell.”


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