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British model Chloe's 'kidnap' ordeal was genuine, says lawyer

By Staff Reporter

Representatives of a British model allegedly kidnapped in Milan have dismissed doubts about the ordeal, saying it was real and terrifying.

Italian police said that Chloe Ayling was snatched last month by a group calling itself Black Death.

She is believed to have been drugged and transported in a bag to an isolated village near Turin, where she was held for six days as her captors tried to auction her online.

As more details emerged about the episode, including that she went shopping for shoes and groceries with her captor, her lawyer and an agent have spoken out to defend her.

Lawyer Francesco Pesce said it is "evil" to suggest she was involved, while Phil Green, of Supermodel Agency, said what took place was "real and very frightening for all concerned".

Speaking previously, Ms Ayling said she had feared for her life "second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour" during the incident and thanked the Italian and UK authorities "for all they have done to secure my safe release".

A friend of Ms Ayling's said the young model said she was doing a Page Three photo shoot on Tuesday.

Carla Bellucci, who runs a modelling agency, described Ms Ayling as "strong" but "a little bit naive".

She told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme: "I wouldn't say she's the wisest of girls. She can be a little bit naive, she's young. To us it's new but for her she's had a few weeks to get used to it."

Ms Bellucci said the decision to pose so soon after the incident was "maybe ... her way of dealing with what's happened to her, to get back out there".

Ms Ayling was informed that she was going to be sold to somebody in the Middle East for sex and complied with her captor during the alleged kidnap because she was told she would be killed if she tried to flee, Mr Pesce said.

It is alleged the men tried to sell Ms Ayling online for more than $300,000 (£230,000) and demanded Mr Green pay to secure her release.

She was kept handcuffed to furniture in the village of Borgial but was freed after six days and taken to the British Consulate in Milan, despite the ransom not being paid, police said.

It has been reported the captor demanded £50,000 on her release and threatened to kill her if she told police about the incident. Italian police said they are working with officials in Britain and Poland as they continue to investigate.

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