Woman who was kidnapped and put up for sale on the dark web says she's lucky to have escaped
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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/InsideEdition
A British model who was kidnapped and put up for sale on the dark web has said that she is lucky to have escaped, and to be alive today.
You might recognise Chloe Ayling at first from her stint on Celebrity Big Brother in 2018. But the model first made headlines the year prior, when she was abducted and drugged by two men, who claimed they had plans to sell her on the dark web as a sex slave.
Chloe, just 20 at the time, had travelled to Milan, Italy, after her agent had organised for her to attend a photoshoot for what appeared to be a glamorous gig.
Chloe's agent believed he was speaking to a man named 'Andre Lazio', but in reality, he had unknowingly organised for Chloe to meet with Lukasz Herba, who would be her kidnapper.
Speaking to This Morning's Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford after she finally made her safe return back to the UK, she recalled: "I walked into the studio and there was just silence.
"Normally someone would greet you at the door but I just didn't hear anything.
"Before I had time to process my thoughts, that's exactly when the masked man put his arm around my neck and mouth... and another one came to the front of me and injected me in my wrists."
When she came to, Chloe says she found herself in the boot of a car in a zip-up bag.
"I had tape on my mouth and handcuffs on my feet and my hands," she revealed.
The model also noticed that there was an empty suitcase in the boot of the car with her, which she presumed her kidnappers planned to eventually put her in.
She was held in a farmhouse two hours outside of Milan for six days while she tried to reason with her kidnappers and convince them to let her go.
The two men had threatened to sell Ayling as a sex slave on the dark web if they were not paid €300,000 ($324,500).
In an interview with Inside Edition, Chloe recalled her kidnappers telling her that there had already been a 'huge interest' in her sale.
Eventually, Chloe managed to convince her kidnappers to let her go when she told them about her child back at home.
Six days after her disappearance, Chloe and her kidnapper appeared at the Milan consulate together.
Herba was eventually handed a 16 year prison sentence, but in 2021, it was cut down to five years and eight months
As well as the trauma of the kidnapping, Chloe has had to deal with unfounded accusations from the public that she faked her own kidnapping for publicity.
Later this year, BBC Three is set to film a factual drama based on Chloe's story, which will unpack the kidnapping, and the media drama that followed.
The series is being made in full cooperation with Chloe.
Commenting on the news when the series was announced last month, she said: "I am excited that BBC Studios are telling my story and that the wider world will get to know the truth about what happened to me and learn of the many details that weren’t brought to light originally.
"Georgia Lester and the team have been incredibly supportive in our conversations, and I couldn’t be happier that they are making this series."