The Weirdest Kidnapping Case Ever Is Being Turned Into A Series

Model Chloe Ayling's 2017 kidnapping is being turned into a BBC mini-series.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Chloe Ayling
Chloe Ayling

A real-life Taken is about to become a fictionalized drama. The abduction of British model Chloe Ayling is being turned into a TV show. As Deadline reports, the bizarre kidnapping will soon be a six-part true-crime series produced by the BBC.

Chloe Ayling had just flown to Milan for a fashion shoot in 2017 when unknown assailants abducted her. The kidnappers freed Ayling six days later, unharmed. BBC3 is working with Chloe to bring the story of her Italian abduction to the small screen.

The series is tentatively titled Kidnapped and will follow Chloe’s harrowing nightmare from her kidnapping to her short time in captivity and, finally, the court case that resulted from the ordeal. Ayling’s abduction made headlines in her native UK. Sadly, many accused Chloe Ayling of faking her own kidnapping in order to boost her popularity. An odd position to take, considering the fact that her assailants were convicted and thrown in prison for their crimes.

Chloe Ayling

Kidnapped is being written by Killing Eve scribe Georgia Lester. Lester claims that after all the time she spent with Ayling learning about what she suffered through, it’s “shocking and infuriating” to hear about the people who accused Chloe of staging her own kidnapping.

Fiona Campbell, Controller of Youth Audience for BBC3, said the series will tell the story of Chloe Ayling “from the inside out” and would do so with “sensitivity and insight.” Priscilla Parish, Head of Drama for BBC Studios, added that Ayling’s story was “Jaw-dropping” and marveled at how a woman could use her wits to survive a living nightmare and somehow be “vilified in the aftermath.”

Chloe Ayling was only 20 years old at the time of the kidnapping. Lukas Herba, a Polish computer programmer, lured Ayling to Italy under the guise of a photo shoot and abducted her instead. Herba sent a €300,000 ransom demand to Ayling’s mother, saying that if she didn’t pay up, Chloe would be auctioned off as a sex slave on the dark web. Herba claimed to be part of an organization calling itself “The Black Death Group.”

In the aftermath of the ordeal, the British media were quick to label the kidnapping a publicity stunt. The media has since criticized Chloe Ayling for what they see as using the tragedy as a way to further her career. The new BBC series will, no doubt, reignite those claims.

Meanwhile, Chloe Ayling had said she is “excited” for the BBC drama to tell “her story.” The 25-year-old former Big Brother contestant said she was also excited that “the wider world will get to know the truth about what happened to me and learn of the many details that weren’t brought to light originally.”

Ayling didn’t go into detail about what new details will be revealed over the six-episode series, but she did praise Georgia Lester for being “incredibly supportive” during conversations about the ordeal. Lester called it an “honor” to work with Chloe and said she couldn’t wait for audiences to “finally see her courage, her charm, and her unwavering resilience.”

Kidnapped will be directed by Al Mackay and produced by Clare Sheperd. The production is expected to begin later this year, leading to a possible late 2023/early 2024 release.