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Miranda Cosgrove recalls her own ‘Baby Reindeer’ stalker incident with a man who set himself on fire

Cosgrove said the incident caused her to stay with her parents because she didn't “feel super safe” at her own home.
/ Source: TODAY

Miranda Cosgrove is reflecting on a traumatic 2016 incident with a stalker.

The "iCarly" star opened up in an interview with Bustle about her own “Baby Reindeer” experience, telling the outlet she didn't “feel super safe” in her Los Angeles house where the incident occurred.

In 2016, a man who was stalking the actor lit himself on fire in the yard of her home and died by suicide. Cosgrove still lives in the same house today, but told Bustle that the events that day still affect her feelings about her home and how often she stays there.

“That’s another reason why I go back and forth to my parents’ house so much,” she explained. “I just don’t feel super safe in that house. For two years after it happened, I wouldn’t really stay there. Then I got into a relationship and because that person was there with me, I was less scared. But I don’t really like being there on my own that much.”

“Baby Reindeer” premiered on April 11 on Netflix and is based on the real story the show’s writer and star, Richard Gadd, who had his own experiences with a stalker.

Despite her personal experiences, she was still able to enjoy the show, telling the outlet, “I didn’t think about it very much.”

She also gave props to Gadd for having to relive his past to make the show, adding, “I feel like if that were me, having to go back through your most terrible experiences and then try to act them [out], that’d be so hard.”

NBC Los Angeles reported in December 2016 that a man was found dead on the sidewalk in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, though the actor was not named in the story. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.

Cosgrove had previously recounted the story on an August 2020 episode of Whitney Cummings’ podcast “Good For You.” At the time, she said that the incident drove her to want to stay with her parents “for a while.” 

The actor recalled getting home from a bad date, noting that it had been raining in Los Angeles that day. Instead of going back to her own house, she decided to go to her parents house after the date and said that she had gotten a call around 3:00 a.m. that somebody had died at her house.

“It was the weirdest thing ever because they had caution tape up. It was right in my front yard,” she explained. “Basically, I guess a guy came and he was burying things in my backyard for three days. He buried a lunchbox with a milk chocolate inside of it in my backyard, and then he buried knives and a rope and a bunch of random stuff.”

Cosgrove said that she hadn’t noticed that he had been burying items in her yard, sharing that he was also pacing the yard with a gun. The actor said that later, after she viewed footage from her security cameras, they were able to determine that he was waiting for around six hours in the yard.

“And then somebody drove up that had a similar car that kind of looks like my car and I guess he got confused and he thought that maybe it was me driving up,” she explained. “He shot at this person six times and he missed because she was in a car. She drove away.”

Cosgrove told Bustle that she had met the woman from the car at an event years later and said that “she seemed like she processes things in a similar way that I do.”

“It might have just been totally random, like he saw me somewhere and he followed me home or something like that. But they never figured out exactly why,” she added.

Cosgrove said the incident “freaked me out really bad” so she began staying with her parents again. 

“It was really bizarre,” she said. “I have a fantasy of diving into the story and figuring out exactly why it all happened just because I think it’d be interesting to know who the person was, why they were there, and exactly what was going on.”

She added, “I don’t know if that’d make it worse or if that’d make it better, but it just seems like it’d be interesting to have more answers.”