Fiat Heir Arrested With Male Escort After Faking His Own Kidnapping

Lapo Elkann told relatives he "would be hurt" if they didn't pay a $10,000 ransom.

Some people have more money than sense. Take Lapo Elkann, heir to the Fiat automobile fortune: After a weekend-long drug binge, the 39-year-old playboy was taken into custody for faking his own kidnapping.

MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 27: Lapo Elkann posing with the Learjet 31 'Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu’ unveiled At Linate SEA Prime on June 27, 2016 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Guido De Bortoli/Getty Images)
Guido De Bortoli/Getty Images

The youngest grandson of Fiat CEO Gianni Agnelli, Elkann is known for his flamboyant fashion sense and issues with drug abuse. In 2005, he was found with a transgender prostitute in Turin, Italy, nearly dead from an OD on heroin and cocaine.

MUNICH, GERMANY - JUNE 08:  Designer Lapo Elkann poses during the presentation of the BMW i8 Futurism Edition on June 8, 2016 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)
Joerg Koch/Getty

This time, he was allegedly holed up with a male escort in New York public housing, binging on alcohol and cocaine. When the money ran out, he reportedly called relatives and told them a woman was holding him hostage. He insisted he “would be hurt” if they didn’t pay a $10,000 ransom.

His family informed the NYPD about the “kidnapping” and, after investigating, authorities charged Elkann with filing a false police report. He was released from custody but ordered to appear before a criminal court for arraignment.

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 07:  Founder and president of Italia Independent Lapo Elkann is seen during the presentation of Garage Italia Customs New Headquarters on October 7, 2015 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani

Elkan, whose net worth is reportedly near $5 billion, is a designer and founder of Garage Italia Customs, which customizes luxury cars and private airplanes for high-end clientele.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.