The glamour model who was kidnapped in Italy has revealed her alleged abductor slept next to her in the same bed for days.
Chloe Ayling, 20, told police she had been lured to a fake photoshoot in Milan where she was drugged, stripped and handcuffed before being bundled into a suitcase in the boot of a car.
She was held hostage in a remote farmhouse for six days by a gang threatening to auction her for sex online unless her modelling agency paid a £270,000 ($478,500) ransom, according to the Daily Mail.
Italian police yesterday continued to hold their prime suspect - Polish odd-job man Lukasz Herba, who moved to the UK several years ago.
She told the Sun she was handcuffed to a chest of drawers and that he slept next to her in a double bed in a property close to the French border.
Ayling told Italian police in her official statement that he did not sexually assault her but instead gave her gifts of chocolate and underwear.
The mother-of-one told officers: "From the second night he took the cuffs from my feet, assuring me that sooner or later I'd be freed so I had no need to escape.
"From that moment I always slept in his room, sharing the bed. To be clear, he didn't molest me sexually or ask for sexual favours.
"He never sexually molested me or asked for sexual favours because Black Death prohibited or severely punished members who touched kidnapped girls.
"He held me prisoner for entire time of my kidnapping, guarded me, stopped me from going out or escaping, threatening me that 'they' would kill me if I did so. I never went outside because he prohibited it."
She only drank from sealed bottles because she was scared about getting poisoned but later developed a "trusting relationship" with him.
Ayling told the newspaper: "Even now I fear for my life."
But questions were growing over apparent inconsistencies in the story behind the kidnapping of the British model.
Deputy prosecutor Paolo Storati described Herba as "a person affected by mythomania" - an abnormal or pathological tendency to exaggerate or tell lies.
It also emerged the alleged kidnapper tried to sell a story to a tabloid newspaper while holding Ayling captive.
Herba emailed the Daily Mirror two days into the abduction - under the heading "British model kidnapped by Russian mafia" - offering to sell the story with photos of her.
He told Italian police he had falsely claimed the Russian mafia were involved to "attract attention", the Daily Telegraph reported.
When asked if she knew that Herba had tried to contact a newspaper, Ayling said: "I know nothing about that at all."
Questions have been raised over the official account of the kidnap amid claims "many details do not add up".
Last night, an Italian police source revealed they were looking into the possibility that Ayling and Herba may have been collaborating, but as of yet they have been unable to prove this theory.
"During the first two days of questioning, neither Miss Ayling or Herba co-operated with the police,' the source said. 'The pair may have been seen together on other occasions. We also cannot find any trace of the agency that allegedly lured her to the country for the photoshoot."
A British police source said: "Investigators are trying to get to the bottom of the validity of the claims. It is down to the Italian police to do this. It is currently being investigated as a real kidnapping, but some of the claims which have come out could be in the realm of fantasy."
It comes as Herba's girlfriend revealed the "fantasist" was sending her text messages the day Ayling was taken in Milan.
Natalia, from Poland and living in Birmingham, said: "It was really believable, the way he was talking and describing what he was doing, that he was travelling all the time.
"I did not have a reason to think he was lying."
Although detectives believe that the kidnapping did take place, they are baffled by a series of apparent inconsistencies, according to Italian media. Many of the questions relate to Ayling's dealings with Herba.
Yesterday it emerged that the Page Three girl was taken shoe shopping by Herba, 30, during her time in captivity. When she was interviewed following her release, she is said to have cried after a police officer asked her: "But don't you think it is strange to go and buy shoes with your kidnapper?"
Six days after Ayling was taken from the photoshoot, Herba allegedly decided to take her to the British Consulate in Milan because he felt it was wrong to kidnap the mother of a 2-year-old boy. Detectives remain baffled as to why Herba walked into the consulate, facilitating his arrest.
Investigators are also examining his previous contact with Ayling, whom he apparently met in Paris when he booked her for a previous photoshoot.
Detectives have identified two suspects, including Herba. But they are struggling to work out the identities of the other three kidnappers whom Ayling says were part of the gang.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported yesterday: "That the kidnapping was real or that she was doped with ketamine is not put into question by the investigators. But it is also tremendously true that many details do not add up." Other Italian media have questioned parts of her story.
A source close to the model said: "She did know the man who kidnapped her. She met him in April on a photoshoot she had been on in Paris. He then called her agency and booked her for the photo shoot in Milan. He specifically asked for her. He seemed genuine. He sent previous examples of his work and paid in advance."
The source added: "During the kidnapping Chloe lost her shoes. He took her to buy some new ones during her ordeal."
Herba, who lives in the West Midlands, appeared in a Milan court last Friday on suspicion of kidnap.
He had apparently claimed to be in a shadowy online network called Black Death and allegedly threatened to sell the model for sex to the highest bidder on the so-called Dark Web if his demands were not met.
Ayling said that after being drugged, her kidnappers stripped her, handcuffed her wrists and ankles and taped her mouth. She was driven nearly 200km to a farmhouse near Turin, where she was shackled to a chest of drawers.
After her release, the model spent more than two weeks helping the Italian police with their investigation before returning to her family home in Coulsdon, South London, on Sunday.
Herba was said to have "booked" Ayling through a firm called Supermodel Agency, which is run by an agent called Phil Green.
But celebrity agent Mark Cowne, who represents stars including Cher and Sir Richard Branson, said Ayling would no longer be working with Green. "It is completely down to the fact [Mr Green] sent her to an event he hadn't checked out. He could have had her killed."
Green said the suggestion he was no longer Ayling's agent is "the first I have heard of it", adding: "As a former lawyer, I exercise due diligence on all new clients to check every required detail.
"I received full details of the proposed shoot. [I] spoke to the photographer. There was nothing which anyone would have flagged up as suspicious, non-conventional or non professional."