A 20-year-old British model was reportedly kidnapped, stuffed in a bag and held hostage for almost a week as her captors planned to auction her in the dark web. Maria Mercedes Galuppo (@mariamgaluppo) has more.


The kidnapping saga of British model Chloe Ayling grew more complex Tuesday as her lawyer adamantly rejected suspicions that the spectacular, highly publicized crime was a hoax. 

Francesco Pesce was making the rounds of British media Tuesday, pitching his case that Ayling was an innocent victim and not a party to the crime.

“There were legitimate doubts at the start, which were surpassed,” Pesce told the Guardian. “What Chloe told police during 10 hours, it wasn’t easy on her. If the police were convinced after that, then I am convinced.”

Suspicion arose, however, when it was learned that Ayling had gone shopping for groceries and shoes with her captor. Pesce said she was told that associates were watching her and would kill her if she tried to flee, he said.

“She thought the best idea was to go along with it and be nice to her captor,” Pesce told the BBC. “He told her he wanted to release her somehow and some time.”

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Ayling, 20, told Italian police she was abducted July 11 during a photo shoot in Milan, drugged, slammed into a bag and taken to a small Italian village. She said she was kept handcuffed to a dresser and was told she would be sold as a sex slave in an online auction. Instead, six days later she was taken to the British consulate and released.

Days later, police arrested Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish immigrant who told Ayling he was associated with a gang called Black Death. Police say he tried to sell her online while also demanding a…