British model Chloe Ayling spent six days of hell at the hands of a kidnapping ring.
It all started two months ago when the 20-year-old from England thought she had been hired for a high-profile gig in Milan, Italy. But when she arrived at the studio for what she believed was the first day of the photo shoot, things went bad.
“I'm about to open the studio door, that's when a hand comes from behind onto my neck and another hand on my mouth and nose stopping me from breathing and screaming. And another guy rushes round in front of me,” she recalled to Inside Edition. “Eventually, they tackle me to the floor, the syringe goes in and that's when it all goes black.”
When she finally woke up, she said she was bound and jammed into a large black bag in the trunk of a car.
“I was in the trunk of a car in a black wax zip-up bag and I had tape on my mouth,” she recalled. “My hands were handcuffed, my ankles were handcuffed.”
She said she was banging on the trunk to get their attention and she was shouting at the driver.
Ayling was taken to a remote farmhouse two hours outside Milan. Then, she was hauled out of the car and handcuffed to a dresser.
When she asked one of her kidnappers why they did this to her, she said he told her, “You’ve already been put up for sale on the dark web."
The so-called dark web is a mysterious place on the internet available only to those with access to special software. It is a place where you can buy child pornography, drugs and apparently even people.
The starting price for the beautiful model was set at $300,000.
“He said, 'Yeah, there's already a huge interest in you,'” Ayling told Inside Edition.
Ayling says she was able to talk her way to freedom after telling her two abductors that she had a 2-year-old son. Apparently, she says, they took pity on her.
She was later driven to the British consulate in Milan and set free.
The alleged captors, Polish nationals Lukasz Herba and his brother Michal, were arrested. They have denied any wrongdoing.
But Ayling’s account had been met with a degree of skepticism, considering that at one point during her six days in captivity, she went shopping for sneakers with one of her kidnappers.
When asked by Inside Edition why she didn’t try to get away while out with her captor, Ayling replied, “He said I would be killed if I escaped.”
Once safe and sound in England, she refused to go into detail, offering only a brief statement to reporters.
“I've been through a terrifying experience I feared for my life,” she told reporters after returning home.
Much to her surprise, she found herself being ridiculed on social media with photos posted by other models of themselves zipped up into suitcases.
She calls those images “disgusting.”
Ayling said she is “really, really lucky” to have gotten out alive, and hopes her story will be a cautionary tale not just to models, but to women everywhere.