Chloe Ayling, a 20-year-old British model, was kidnapped by human traffickers in July. After being lured to a fake photo shoot in Milan, the young woman was injected with drugs, stuffed into a large bag, and driven across northern Italy where she was to be sold as a sex slave.
She was brought to an isolated farmhouse, where she was bound to a piece of furniture and told:
“All girls are for the Arab market, and when the buyer gets fed up of a girl bought at auction, he can gift her to other people, and when of no interest anymore, feed her to tigers.”
Thankfully, however, the organization that captured her, referred to as the Black Death Group, had one rule: It didn’t kidnap and sell mothers.
Ayling has a baby boy — the group realized its mistake because she posted photos of her son on Instagram:
After being held there for a week, one of her alleged captors, 30-year-old Lukasz Pawel Herba, brought her to safety at the British consulate, where he was quickly arrested.
Now, Ayling is dealing with the aftermath, which seems to be intensely overwhelming. In fact, people are doubting she was actually kidnapped.
And among them is 21-year-old Conor Keyes, the father of her nearly 2-year-old son. He recently told the Daily Mail he doesn’t know what to believe.
He said things aren’t quite adding up, referring to her demeanor when speaking to the press after her return to the UK:
“Apparently she got put into a suitcase, jabbed with ketamine — all this craziness. If that happened to me I wouldn’t be outside smiling, I wouldn’t want to talk to people.”
However, he said her behavior falls in line with her personality, saying: “But that’s just the sort of person she is maybe. She just loves the camera.”
He maintained his skepticism, telling the Daily Mail:
“I don’t know what to make of it. It’s a weird situation. People on my side are saying it’s mad, but other people are saying it could be true.”
He also claimed that Ayling is entirely career-driven, saying she’s “100 percent focused” on advancing in the modeling world.
But her mother, Beata Ayling, has taken to her defense. On Wednesday, Beata spoke to the London Evening Standard to say all those who believe her daughter was feigning her own kidnapping are spewing “lies”:
“People are making up lies about my daughter. She is recovering now after what has happened. It has been terrible for her.”
And she said that when her daughter is ready, she’ll contest the rumors as well:
“She has had a terrible few weeks. As her mother, I was very worried and just want her to recover so she can speak out against the lies.”
According to the Daily Mail, Ayling’s attorney, Francesco Pesce, admitted the fact that Herba — who both kidnapped and surrendered Ayling — deciding to not only let her go, but practically turning himself in was odd:
“Why this person drove her back to the consulate to let her go — I have no idea. He was not able to explain this properly. Some things do not match and it’s strange. Why would one throw himself into the arms of the police and bring the hostage inside the British consulate?”
However, he clarified that is actually what transpired: “It does appear to be incredible, but it’s actually true.”
And in reference to the rumors that she was in some way involved in her own abduction, Pesce wholeheartedly denounced those claims, saying: “There was no cooperation, no kind of involvement with Chloe and her captors whatsoever.”
Although theories of Ayling’s kidnapping are everywhere, the investigation is still underway. Upon her return to the UK, Ayling said she’s “incredibly grateful” to both “the Italian and UK authorities.”