Lapo Elkann, jetsetting playboy and grandson of former Fiat CEO Gianni Agnelli, was charged with faking his own kidnapping in an attempt to get $10,000 to pay for drugs he binged on during a "two-day bender with an escort in a Kips Bay housing project."

The bizarre incident occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend. According to Page Six, Elkann, 39, "arrived in New York City by plane" on Thanksgiving "and immediately began contacting various online escort services, sources said. He met up with a female escort on West 49th Street and was then introduced by her to the transgender escort" who could apparently get drugs.

Elkann reportedly joined the second escort the next day: The Daily News reports, "He visited her in an apartment in the Strauss Houses on E. 28th St., near First St., in Manhattan on Friday, and the pair did cocaine and pot for two days before running out of cash, sources said. The escort paid for more drugs, and Elkann agreed to pay her back, according to sources. They said he then came up with the plan to call his family with the bogus false imprisonment claim."

Then, Elkann allegedly contacted his relatives to say he was being held against his will and would be injured unless $10,000 was paid to his kidnapper. His family then contacted the NYPD, who devised a sting and took Elkann and the escort into custody.

The escort was initially arrested and charged with grand larceny by extortion, because, sources tell Page Six, "Elkann filed a police report late Saturday. A subsequent investigation revealed that Elkann had used his own cellphone to call for cash and that he could have left the apartment at any time."

Elkann was issued a desk appearance ticket for filing a false police report. Eleven years ago, when he was the "public" face of Fiat, he nearly died from an overdose in a prostitute's apartment in Turin, Italy, which became a tabloid sensation. An Italian investigator told Vanity Fair, "Fiat Group called—the most important big shot. They were expecting they could hide the real story. But if you want to keep a secret, you don’t give it to a bitch who stays on the street and then arrive naked at the hospital."

He left Fiat in 2007 and started a fashion brand, Italia Independent. In an Instagram post from last week, Elkann discussed going on a business trip for projects, "I’ll be seeing many interesting characters in the creative field and in the entrepreneurial field in the next few days.”


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