Piers Morgan defends controversial ‘real life’ Martha from Baby Reindeer interview

Piers Morgan defends controversial ‘real life’ Martha from Baby Reindeer interview

Piers Morgan has spoken out to defend his controversial interview with the ‘real life’ Martha from Baby Reindeer after viewers branded it ‘unethical’ and exploitative.

Last week, TalkTV host Morgan interviewed Scottish lawyer Fiona Harvey, who said she wanted to ”set the record straight” about details related to the Netflix show, which show creator and star Richard Gadd have said are real.

During the interview, which has amassed over 10 million views, Morgan grills Ms Harvey about Netflix and Gadd’s claim that the “real Martha” sent a staggering 41,071 emails, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages, 106 pages of letters and 350 hours of voicemail.

Viewers questioned the ethics of Morgan’s decision to interview Ms Harvey since Mr Gadd has said that the real person who inspired Martha was “mentally unwell”.

Since the interview, Ms Harvey has said she felt “used” by Morgan, who she said placed “a heavy emphasis” on the thousands of emails she allegedly sent Gadd.

The 58-year-old has also demanded one million pounds from the Uncensored host after she claimed she was only paid £250 for the appearance.

Fiona Harvey denied she had a criminal conviction on ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ (YouTube)

Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday morning, Morgan spoke out in defence of the controversial interview and revealed his thoughts on the meeting.

Explaining why he invited her on the show he said: “She has a right to have her say and was happy to come on the show, I tried to be very fair and balanced and tried to get to the truth. I think she lied in the interview but is she a convicted stalker?

“The key point is, if she isn’t, then the Netflix claim at the start of every episode saying ‘this is a true story’ becomes problematic.”

Ms Harvey denied that she had any criminal convictions during her interview and said the Netflix show’s suggestion that she did was “defamatory”.

Morgan spoke out in defence of the controversial interview on ITV’s Lorraine (ITV)
Fiona Harvey claims she is the person who inspired Martha’s character in Baby Reindeer (Ed Miller/Netflix)

Morgan continued: “Have they defamed her? If you accuse someone of being a convicted stalker and they are not, that is a pretty serious claim to make.”

He also said it was only fair to give Ms Harvey her say as her identity had already been revealed on social media – despite Mr Gadd asking viewers not to engage with her.

Morgan’s interview was met with consternation when the broadcaster announced the “world exclusive” on Wednesday May 8.

Upon announcing the interview in a social media post, the replies section was flooded with messages from users calling the interview “irresponsible” and “unethical”.

Piers Morgan interviewed Fiona Harvey in a ‘world exclusive’ last week (Piers Morgan/X)

“This is exploitation of a person who is in a vulnerable position. Clearly unethical,” one person wrote, with another adding: “This guy has absolutely no shame!” Others branded the decision to interview Harvey “disgraceful” and “absolutely vile”.

Speaking about Mr Gadd’s ask, Morgan said: “I’ve got to say, I think that’s pretty disingenuous because they literally use parts of messages which Internet sleuths just tapped into her Twitter account and up came the same phraseology. So I think they failed in a duty of care, there’s no question about that, Netflix in particular.”

Responding to Ms Harvey’s request for one million pounds and her feelings of being taken advantage of, Morgan insisted that they paid her fairly.

He said: “We gave her the same amount, I want to say, 95% of our guests. We don’t discuss that but we paid for her to have a nice haircut, a car, and everything else. I think we’ve performed our duty of care and we’ve stayed in touch with her since.”

The host did however admit he was at least partially motivated by views on his YouTube channel when picking interviewees.

He told Lorraine Kelly: “Oh, I have a YouTube channel called Piers Morgan Uncensored, and I want people to click on it, yeah! Shock horror! Like you do a show for ratings, that’s the game we’re in and I want people to watch the content we do. That’s not why I did the interview.”

Source: independent.co.uk