Washington, November 29 - Lapo Elkann was arrested and then released by New York police after allegedly faking his own kidnapping in an attempt to get $10,000 from his family, American media reported on Tuesday, citing police sources. The Agnelli family heir reportedly faked the kidnapping after running out of cash during a two-day binge of drugs and alcohol with a transgender escort, according to several publications. Sources close to Lapo Elkann told ANSA that they had "nothing to comment" on the reports. The 39-year-old, the grandson of legendary Fiat chief Gianni Agnelli and a successful fashion businessman, is accused of falsely claiming to be the victim of unlawful imprisonment, the reports said. Elkann reportedly told his family that he was being held and would be hurt unless a $10,000 ransom was paid. Elkann's family alerted the police, who arrested Elkann and the alleged male escort when they arrive to pick up the money, according to the reports. In 2005 Elkann was taken to hospital due to an overdose, after reportedly taking a potentially lethal cocktail of heroin, cocaine and alcohol at the Turin home of a transvestite. Elkann's Italia Independent design company lost over 9% on the stock exchange on Tuesday after the reports came out.
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