Fiat heir ar­rested over kid­nap claim

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in New York

One of the heirs to the Fiat au­to­mo­bile for­tune, Lapo Elkann, has been ar­rested in New York for al­legedly fak­ing his own kid­nap­ping, po­lice said on Tues­day, amid re­ports that he was try­ing to pay for a week­end of de­bauch­ery.

Ac­cord­ing to sev­eral US me­dia out­lets, Elkann, the grand­son of leg­endary Fiat founder Gianni Agnelli, tried to make his fam­ily be­lieve he had been kid­napped when he ran out of money dur­ing a two­day ben­der of sex and drugs.

The 39-year-old Ital­ian re­port­edly spent that time with a pros­ti­tute, with whom he con­sumed al­co­hol, mar­i­juana and co­caine be­fore run­ning low on funds, the re­ports said.

He re­port­edly came up with the plan to ask his fam­ily for $10,000 in ran­som to pay for more drugs, US me­dia said.

The fam­ily alerted po­lice, who ar­rested Elkann af­ter de­ter­min­ing his claims to be false.

Elkann was or­dered to ap­pear in a court in Jan­uary, po­lice said.

Elkann’s brother John took over the helm of the Agnelli em­pire in May 2008 by be­com­ing the head of the com­pany that man­ages the fam­ily’s hold­ings.

The Agnelli fam­ily con­trols about a 30 per­cent stake in Fiat, and 44 per­cent of the vot­ing rights.

Elkann made head­lines in 2005 when he slipped into a coma af­ter a drug over­dose — also re­port­edly in the com­pany of a pros­ti­tute.

On Wed­nes­day, Elkann posted a photo of him­self on his In­sta­gram ac­count — dressed in a bright red suit, he said he would be trav­el­ing “for busi­ness and cre­ative projects around the world in the next few days.”

Elkann briefly held a job in Fiat’s mar­ket­ing depart­ment, but then moved on to other projects. He is one of the founders of the eye­wear brand Italia In­de­pen­dent.

Lapo Elkann, heir to the Fiat for­tune

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