Fiat Heir Lapo Elkann Arrested for Allegedly Faking a Kidnapping
A blow-by-blow analysis of a story that may or may not be true.
This story has everything: Male escorts! Cocaine! Sports Cars! Italian billionaires! Yes, Lapo Elkann is back in action, showing all those other party boys how to make decadence great again. How? Elkann — Fiat heir and the best dressed man in automotive — was arrested in New York this past weekend for allegedly faking his own kidnapping, according to The Daily Beast.
Of course, the story is incredible. How could it be otherwise? Let me tell you, Elkann never disappoints.
An NYPD source told The Beast that Elkann arrived in the city Thursday night, hooked up with a 29-year old male escort, and they "holed themselves up inside a Manhattan housing project" where they began throwing down alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.
Well, that's a start. Hard to believe a guy who looks like Elkann would need to pay an escort, let alone someone to party with in New York. Hasn't he been to The Box? Or Provocateur? Or 1 Oak? But those venues don't kick off until late. Maybe he couldn't wait.
The shockers continue, because the pair allegedly "partied for over two days before their cash ran out."
I can believe the two day part. The cash running out? PLEASE. I've seen Elkann's wardrobe. Also, FCA's stock price. Actually, FCA has had some trouble since January 2016, but I can't imagine it has affected Elkann's spending that much. Maybe he lost his ATM card?
But the story gets better.
Elkann then allegedly — and you'll notice how often one must insert "allegedly" to tell this story — invented a kidnapping plot, informing relatives that he was being held hostage and "would be hurt" unless a $10,000 ransom was paid.
That's a lot of party party, even for two guys on a bender. Maybe he was being held for ransom, but only by someone who doesn't know expensive fashion, or how to use Google, or hasn't heard of Fiat. Come on, alleged escort guy. One look at Lapo tells the whole story. This guy is loaded. OK, OK. I've seen homeless dudes on Hollywood Boulevard who dress like that. Also, my old friend, famed raconteur and star of The Cruise, Speed Levitch.
Maybe if Elkann had asked for $1M, someone in Italy would have believed it.
Elkann's relatives then contacted the NYPD, who lured Elkann and his new friend — clearly the least competent criminals since Umair Bhatti — out of the housing complex to pick up the cash. That new friend must have really liked Lapo. What could Elkann possibly have been wearing? It couldn't have been subtle. How could his new friend not have suggested Elkann might be a little conspicuous? What about Lapo himself? How could he not be self-aware?
The cops "pounced", and Elkann — clearly no student of Nostradamus — was charged with filing a false police report. Incredibly (or perhaps not), Elkann was given a desk appearance ticket and released. His new friend was let go.
I can't wait to learn more, especially given how entertaining Elkann's prior drama has been. There's been more than one story of blackmail, an overdose, stalking, more escorts, a ridiculous fashion line and aftermarket shop, and a Vanity Fair story just last month entitled "How Lapo Elkann Rebounded from Rock Bottom to Build His Own Business Empire."
I can't lie. I'm rooting for Lapo. There's no evidence he's hurt anyone but himself. I wish him a speedy recovery from his demons. He's truly making decadence great again, but that's not the key to happiness.
Alex Roy, entrepreneur, President of Europe By Car, Editor-at-Large for The Drive, and author of The Driver, set the 2007 Transcontinental “Cannonball Run” Record in a BMW M5 in 31 hours & 4 minutes, and has set multiple "Cannonball" endurance driving records in Europe & the United States in the EV, 3-wheeler & Semi-Autonomous Classes. You may follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.