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Publicity stunt? Model nearly sold into sex slavery is a ‘sham,’ says defense lawyer

The abduction and kidnapping of British model Chloe Ayling was a “sham,” according to a lawyer for one of the men facing charges.

According to the BBC News, Michal Konrad Herba, 36, is accused of conspiring with his brother Lukasz Herba, 30, to abduct the model in July. Though Ayling, 20, was supposedly kidnapped by an Internet syndicate called the “Black Death Group,” and Michal’s lawyer called the case a “publicity stunt.”

“The same complainant [Ayling], it seems, generated publicity from the fact she was near the scene of a terrorist attack at the Champs-Elysees in Paris,” attorney George Hepburne Scott alleged, referring to open source material. “Prior to the release of the complainant, the kidnapper apparently issued a press release to a tabloid newspaper setting out that this lady was being held for auction.”

“Prior to the release of the complainant, the kidnapper apparently issued a press release to a tabloid newspaper setting out that this lady was being held for auction.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ayling claimed she was drugged and kidnapped by Lukasz and another man during a photo shoot in Milan, Italy. Authorities believed the woman was held captive for a week and set to be sold as a sex slave if a 300,000 Euro ($350,000) ransom wasn’t paid.

After learning that Ayling was a mother, the Black Death Group was said to have canceled the auction. Luckasz was reportedly arrested on suspicion of kidnapping for extortion charges while taking the victim to the British consulate.

“You have a 2-year-old child and our rules exclude mothers,” her kidnapper allegedly told her, the Corriere Della Sera reported.

ORIGINAL Story: Man drugs and kidnaps model to force into sex trafficking but spares her because she is a mother: Police

In August, Michal was apprehended in the West Midlands for his possible involvement, according to the BBC. However, it is unclear at this time what role he played in the alleged abduction and kidnapping.

Scott also claimed in court that Ayling went shoe shopping and had breakfast with her captor before going to the British consulate.

“It would amount to an abuse of process of the court if there was any evidence to suggest this was a publicity stunt,” he told the judge. “This case has a unique set of anomalies which might lead to the conclusion that the Italian authorities have been duped and that their process has been abused.”

READ More: Model who was drugged, kidnapped and nearly sex trafficked speaks out: ‘I’ve been through a terrifying experience’

District Judge Paul Goldspring noted that most of Scott’s allegations were based on press reports that didn’t prove his theory. The Independent reports that Goldspring is scheduled to make a ruling on Friday.

[Featured Image: Instagram/chloeayling]