Love Island Meg in Chloe kidnap court battle
Reality star could be forced to testify at Ayling trial
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.
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.
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