Love Is­land Meg in Chloe kid­nap court bat­tle

Re­al­ity star could be forced to tes­tify at Ayling trial

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Dan Warburton

LOVE Is­land’s Me­gan Bar­ton Han­son may be forced to give ev­i­dence when her model pal’s al­leged kid­nap­per goes on trial.

Lawyers for Michal Herba aim to quiz the re­al­ity star, 24, about her friend­ship with Chloe Ayling, 21. They want to know if the pals dis­cussed creat­ing a scan­dal to boost Chloe’s celebrity pro­file.

Chloe was lured to Italy by a bo­gus job, ran­somed for £200,000 and threat­ened with be­ing auc­tioned as a sex slave for dark web group Black Death, a court heard.

But Herba, 37, de­nies kid­nap and claims he and Chloe con­cocted the sin­is­ter plot to launch her show­biz ca­reer.

Me­gan and Chloe, who ap­peared on Celebrity Big Brother 12 months af­ter the or­deal, knew each other be­fore be­com­ing stars. They have been pic­tured to­gether on glam­our shoots.

Me­gan, who is dat­ing fel­low Love Is­land con­tes­tant Wes Nel­son, has de­fended her pal’s CBB ap­pear­ance.

She said: “Chloe is a lovely per­son girl but also quite a shy per­son.”

In turn, Chloe has stepped in af­ter on­line trolls at­tacked Me­gan over her looks.

And ear­lier this year, as Me­gan ap­peared on ITV’S Love Is­land, Chloe posted an im­age from last year’s MCM Lon­don Comic Con, where they joined a hand­ful of other mod­els.

Hand­cuffed

Si­mone Zan­cani, who rep­re­sents Herba, said: “We want to ask Me­gan if Chloe spoke about creat­ing a scan­dal to get in­side Celebrity Big Brother.”

Me­gan is on a list of names he in­tends to hand to a judge in Mi­lan on November 19.

Other po­ten­tial wit­nesses listed are Chloe’s close friend Rory Mccarthy, her for­mer celebrity agent Dave Read and ex Loaded mag­a­zine pub­lisher Paul Bax­en­dale-walker, 53.

Chloe named the three in her book in which she said she was lured to Italy for a bo­gus pho­to­shoot be­fore be­ing drugged, hand­cuffed and held hostage for six days in a re­mote farm­house.

Mr Zan­cani is also con­sid­er­ing ask­ing Love Is­land 2017 star Danielle Sell­ers, 23, to travel to Italy to an­swer ques­tions. There is no sug­ges­tion any one listed has acted in­ap­pro­pri­ately.

Loop­hole

Danielle and Chloe are be­lieved to have be­come friends while work­ing with the Sixty6 mag­a­zine. Last year the pair posed for pic­tures to­gether. Me­gan’s pos­si­ble court ap­pear­ance comes as the Sun­day Peo­ple can re­veal that Chloe will not to strike a fi­nan­cial deal with Herba. Such an ar­range­ment could keep him from be­ing jailed but Chloe has in­sisted she is not in­ter­ested. Herba was seek­ing to pay her so he could use a loop­hole in Ital­ian law to re­duce his sen­tence. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Chloe said: “Chloe wants noth­ing to do with Michal Herba, so will not ac­cept any pay­ment.” Chloe, of Couls­don, South Lon­don, was held cap­tive in Mi­lan in July 2017. Herba’s brother Lukasz, 31 – from Old­bury, West Mids, like him – was jailed for nearly 17 years in June fol­low­ing a kid­nap trial in Mi­lan that did not quiz her. Pros­e­cu­tors in­stead re­lied on her ear­lier state­ments which de­tailed the sick plot. Since the kid­nap­ping, Chloe has ap­peared on CBB where she grew close to foot­baller Jer­maine Pen­nant, given TV in­ter­views and writ­ten a book. But last month it emerged she had not set­tled her £9,000 bill with Ital­ian lawyer Francesco Pesce who rep­re­sented her at the first trial in June. Michal, who moved to Old­bury from Poland, was ex­tra­dited to Italy and will go on trial later this year. Bar­ris­ter Ge­orge Hep­burne Scott said: “My client has con­sis­tently protested his in­no­cence. All he wants is for the truth to come out. “Chloe Ayling has never been ques­tioned by any­one on be­half of Michal Herba. Her cross-ex­am­i­na­tion is the key to the truth.”

EXCLUSIVE RE­AL­ITY TV: Chloe on Celebrity Big Brother AC­CUSED: Michal Herba PALS: Meg & Chloe in snap shared on In­sta­gram GLAM­OUR: Meg poses in LA in Septem­ber

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