Last month, Chloe Ayling, a 20-year-old British model, experienced every woman’s worst nightmare. After being lured to a fake photo shoot that her agent had booked, Ayling was attacked, drugged, and kidnapped by human traffickers to be sold as a sex slave.
But because of one major oversight, the online organization, known as “Black Death,” released her.
And now, she’s lived to tell her horrifying tale.
On Sunday, she spoke to The Sun and detailed the week-long incident, saying she was afraid for her life “second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.”
It all started on July 11, she arrived at the set of a photoshoot in Milan, however, upon entry, she realized the building was abandoned.
She told the Sun that moments later, she was assaulted:
“A person with black gloves placed a hand over my mouth from behind while a second person wearing a balaclava gave me an injection in my right arm.”
She said that the next thing she remembers is waking up in the trunk of a car, bound and gagged, without her pants, shoes, or jacket on:
“I believe I lost consciousness because when I woke up, I was wearing just my pink undershirt made of chenille, and the socks I am now wearing, and I realized I was in the coffin of a car, my ankles and wrists in handcuffs, with a black tape covering my mouth, inside a bag where there was just a small hole in the zipper that allowed me to breathe.”
She would be inside that bag for the entirety of a three-hour drive, but she refused to stay silent.
Ayling told the Sun that the men were forced to pull over three times, once every 45 minutes because she “kept on complaining and moving inside the bag.”
She said that at one point, one of the masked men poured a bottle of “sparkling water” into her mouth, and threatened to inject her again if she kept moving.
She was taken to a remote farmhouse on the other side of the country where they proceeded to handcuff her to a piece of furniture.
She told the Sun that once she was bound up again, one of the men informed her of her fate…
He said (emphasis added):
“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.”
Though shortly after her reality sunk in, she was gifted with a glimmer of hope:
“After a few minutes, a man came into the room without his face covered, and he told me in English that [during the drive over] their boss had called and that he was furious because they had seized the wrong person.”
This was her only shot at survival:
“I was not meant to be taken because the boss had seen my Instagram profile, which clearly showed that I was a mum with a young boy, and this went against the rules of the organization.”
Ayling is the mother of a 2-year-old son; thankfully, the sex-trafficking group reportedly holds a rule against selling mothers as sex slaves.
However, the man told Ayling that her profile had already been posted online to be auctioned off, and because of that, they weren’t going to release her:
“Despite being upset with my kidnapping, he explained that this imprisonment could not stop because in the meantime, the organization had published in the deep web two photos taken shortly after [the kidnapping] while I was unconscious…”
She told the Sun that once her photos — which were taken while she was still unconscious — were posted, the sale was already in progress:
“The photos confirmed the fact that I was in the hands of the organization, and some users had expressed interest in my sale.”
But in the end, the mistake of kidnapping a mother was more important to her kidnappers than the sale. On July 17, one of the men took her to the British Consulate in Milan, where, after her return — on the condition her agent pay their group £50,000 — he was arrested.
The man was later identified as 30-year-old Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish citizen residing in the UK. He confessed to kidnapping Ayling to authorities, and said that her abduction was the result of months of preparation.
According to the Telegraph, Ayling told police that she’d met Herba at a Paris photo shoot a few months before she was captured.
Although it will probably take years, if ever, for Ayling to heal, she said she’s “incredibly grateful” to both “the Italian and UK authorities.”
She told the Sun she’s been through a “terrifying experience,” but at least she can return home to the very boy who saved her life: Her son.