Model 'too terrified' to escape kidnapper on shopping trips
A British model who was allegedly kidnapped in Milan was too terrified to try and escape her captor when he took her shoe shopping and to buy groceries, her lawyer has said.
Italian police said 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 while her captors tried to auction her online.
The 20-year-old was told people were watching her and she would be killed if she tried to flee, meaning she complied with what her captor asked her to do, according to her lawyer Francesco Pesce.
"She was told that she was going to be sold to somebody in the Middle East for sex," he said.
"She was told that people were there watching her and ready to kill her if she tried anything.
"So she thought that the best idea was to go along with it and to be nice in a way to her captor, because he told her that he wanted to release her, somehow and sometime.
"She thought that the best thing to do was not to go into conflict with him.
"So she abided to his request, 'let's go and buy groceries' and 'you need shoes, let's go buy shoes' and she didn't try to flee.
"But I believe she was terrified at the moment and, even if she could've asked for help, she didn't because she was subjugated to this person, or people, as she was given to understand."
Mr Pesce dismissed suggestions Ms Ayling may have somehow been in on the kidnap, describing it as "evil".
It has been reported she told police she had developed a trusting relationship and even shared a bed with her kidnapper, who gave her chocolate and underwear, but she said he had not sexually assaulted her.
On Monday, her agent Phil Green said Ms Ayling could not return home to London for almost three weeks.
"Chloe had her passport detained by Italian police, who would not let her return to the UK until she gave evidence at a pre-trial hearing on August 4," he said in a statement.
He added she was able to fly back to the UK on Sunday after attending the crime scene with police and her lawyer.
Ms Ayling has said: "I've been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.
"I am incredibly grateful to the Italian and UK authorities for all they have done to secure my safe release."