By on November 29, 2016

Fiat 500 Backside Badging

Fiat heir Lapo Elkann, 39, allegedly faked his own kidnapping during a Thanksgiving weekend bender in order to get ransom money to pay for the drug binge. Elkann, the grandson of the late Fiat Automobiles patriarch Gianni Agnelli, was taken into custody by the NYPD and charged for falsely reporting the incident.

The New York Daily News claims that Elkan, the brother of FCA Chairman John Elkann, spent most of the holiday in a Manhattan housing project enjoying a multi-day drug marathon. The Italian heir flew into New York on Thursday and reportedly called a number of escort services in the city before settling upon a 29-year-old transgender woman who had contacts to get marijuana and cocaine.

lapo elkann

According to sources, the escort paid for additional drugs, and Elkann agreed to pay her back. The cash-strapped millionaire then attempted to get his hands on $10,000 by allegedly contacting his family, claiming he had been kidnapped by the escort. A family representative contacted local authorities and arranged a meeting for the exchange. However, when both Elkann and the escort appeared at the drop-off location, police brought them in for questioning.

An NYPD spokesperson said that Elkann eventually filed a report, leading to the arrest of 29-year-old Curtis McKinstry on a charge of grand larceny by extortion. Further investigation of the matter resulted in the charges against McKinstry being dropped. Police then charged Elkann with a misdemeanor for falsely reporting an incident.

A day before departing for New York, Elkann posted a video on his Instagram account in which he claims, “I’ll be seeing many interesting characters in the creative field and in the entrepreneurial field in the next few days.” He also posted during the weekend’s stay-in spree, including an interior shot of the Lamborghini Miura and a photo of Steve McQueen, where he wrote, “Speed is Everything never Stop.”

Elkann had a highly publicized near-death overdose in 2005 in the Turin apartment of a transgender prostitute. However, recent pieces in Vanity Fair and Forbes covered how well he had bounced back, creating the Italia Independent sunglasses brand and his Independent Ideas advertising firm.

[Image: Lapo Elkann/Instagram]

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84 Comments on “Fiat Heir Allegedly Faked His Own Kidnapping to Pay for Thanksgiving Weekend Drug Binge...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Nice.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      He was the head of marketing for Fiat and was the main guy behind bringing the 500 back – then he pulled the same stunt in 2005 but actually OD’d and was sent to hospital. He lost the job and I don’t believe he’s had a meaningful position within the company ever since.

      FYI his brother is Sergio’s boss.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    All I can say is that photo with the Maserati is staged really well. I love how the reflection of the rails line up with the grille.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Fiat’s heavy discounting and price drops won’t help his situation.

  • avatar
    Skylark455

    It’s amazing how popular crossovers have become……

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I wonder what exactly the “entrepreneurial field” is… I wasn’t aware that was an actual industry.

    I guess this guy is living proof that once you get to a certain point, money doesn’t buy happiness.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    He has a lot of pictures of himself with his shirt off. Seems like he may be overcompensating…for something. There is also the random shot of Donald Trump and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Odd.

    Is he on an allowance? Is that why he couldn’t go to bank and get the money himself?

    Another great day for FCA!

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I don’t know why but this sounds like a very Fiat thing to do.

  • avatar

    39 years old and faking kidnapping to pay for hookers and blow ? I’m also kind of surprised that an heir to a car company would be hanging out in the Projects. It’s not on the normal route of the rich and famous playing in NYC.

    Some where there is a Trustee who keeps him on a short leash-what else can you do when you have massive generational money but the family member in question is highly questionable..

    How badly do you need to screw up to be this old, this rich, and not have access to $10k ????

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      He needs a minder, like Dez Bryant had, or PacMan Jones.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s what I was thinking. You don’t have any investments to liquidate? Expensive jewelry to hock? An uncle who trusts you a little?

      Get it together, you’re nearly 40.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m thinking the $10K ransom tipped off everybody that it wasn’t a real emergency. $100 million? $50 Million? That sounds more like a kidnapping ransom for someone like this.

      Who paid for his airline ticket anyway? The family trying to get rid of him?

    • 0 avatar
      yankinwaoz

      I worked a number of years for a bank that had a large trust division in a part of California where there is a lot of old money. So there were a large number of “trust funders” tooling around town looking for things to do between dividend checks.

      I heard plenty of stories from the staff in the trust department that had to deal with the beneficiaries of these large family trusts. These were a number who were undeserving, spoiled, and with addiction issues, who would come in to the office with sob stories about how they needed an advance, or loan, against their trust. Sometimes the cops would have to be called to evict them when they got scary.

      This guy sounds like one more of them.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Fecking amateur hour.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    I guess conversion therapy is similar to AA. Every once in awhile you fall off the wagon, go on an epic bender, and lose all your days.

    It’s a shame the guy can’t just live his life. He must be in agony. Maybe if he could just be true to himself he wouldn’t need the drugs to escape.

    • 0 avatar
      bortlicenseplate

      Agony indeed. For all the perceived charm of that life, it cannot be easy being the closeted gay heir of an uber-macho Italian legend.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Are the Italians against gays that much that it’d ruin him?

        • 0 avatar
          Whatnext

          Hey, its not gay if the dude has boobs, am I right?

        • 0 avatar
          bortlicenseplate

          Good question. I don’t know any more than the layman about modern Italy, but I get the sense they’re a lot more “old school” than we are here in North America: traditional Catholic society, patriarchal, red-blooded Mediterranean sensibilities; the kind of place that would vote in someone like Berlusconi for multiple terms.

          Being gay is probably perfectly fine there if you’re an ordinary citizen, living anonymously in one of the major cities. But if you’re a public figure and steward of a legendary family name, like Agnelli? Probably not so much.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “Being gay is probably perfectly fine there if you’re an ordinary citizen..”

            Well, there’s always the Church, too.

          • 0 avatar
            bortlicenseplate

            @OldMan pants, per the full sentence I wrote, being anonymous in a major city probably goes a long way.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “being anonymous in a major city probably goes a long way.”

            Well, if not there’s always the Church.

          • 0 avatar
            bortlicenseplate

            “‘being anonymous in a major city probably goes a long way.’

            Well, if not there’s always the Church.”

            Too clever for me, @OldManPants. Can you explain?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You may recall in the news a few years ago the Catholic church had quite a few gay priest issues.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The Catholic Church has had gay priests for millennia. The recent issue has been with molesting priests.

          • 0 avatar
            bortlicenseplate

            Ah I see, thanks @CoreyDL. I’d figured it was something like that, though I agree @Vogo, that is a critical distinction, and hopefully not lost on anyone.

      • 0 avatar
        Caboose

        What closeted? If this doesn’t count as coming out, nothing does.

        OTOH, maybe he’s not. Maybe he just has a really, really, really particular fetish. Some people juggle geese.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    So I guess its true that Fiats have problems with their trannys.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    FIAT: Fanastic, It’s A Transsexual!

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Oh who hasn’t done this before? *shifty eyes*

  • avatar
    John

    Your dictionary called – it wants a picture to put next to “Eurotrash”.

    The UK “Daily Mail” has a lot more detail. This fellow and his brother inherited their dad’s fortune of almost 2 billion dollars in 2003. He was named to “Vanity Fair’s” “Best Dressed Hall of Fame” in 2009. He overdosed on heroin and cocaine with three transgender prostitutes in 2005. In an interview with “Vanity Fair”, he did state “Nobody’s perfect.”

  • avatar
    formula m

    It’s impossible to do that much cocaine over a few days racking up a bill like that. Your nose would literally be clogged or you would be dead and being the heir of Fiat should get you a great price on a tranny

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Dear Fiat,

    This guy is clearly a major f***up, I’d like to audition for the role of John Elkann complete with a cushy job and a piece of the FCA pie. I don’t have a substance abuse problem and I can start right away.

    Thanks
    28

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I am younger and will behave with dignity, and only purchase fine Italian clothes.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      You aren’t part of the Agnelli family though. You better get some mafia ties, and quickly.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Just talk like Pauly from Sopranos, they won’t know the difference.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Which color tie is better on a white shirt, red or black?

      • 0 avatar

        Mafia ties? These handmade Italian ones are nice: https://setteneckwear.com/

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the Agnellis are Piedmontese. The Mafia is a Sicilian thing.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Agnelli family is northern Italian, and those further North (and other parts) *literally* do not think of Sicilians as being ITALIAN. I’m placing much emphasis on key words here, but it’s a deeply-rooted, but less overt/hostile (on the surface) form of racism/ethnicism as, say, how wealthy WASPs, or now, ironically (from historical sense), Jews in the coastal Boston or suburban Philadelphia communities may feel about their Irish-Italian immigrant descendent fellow citizens on the other sides of the tracks in their same cities.

          They hail from Piedmont Region, which is as far north as it gets, with Turin as its capital. In fact, Piedmont was the name of the company that the Agnelli Family patriarch, Giovanni, invested into originally, which ultimately was transformed into Fiat (the ‘t’ in Fiat actually stands for Turin).

          In Italy, the further north ones ancestors hail from, the greater their pedigree – like I said, this is not “in your face everyday” type of thing, yet very deeply rooted in the culture & psyche.

          This Elkann dude had a French-Jewish-American father who married into the Agnelli family, and a grandfather that married into the wealthy Jewish Ovazza banking family in Italy – the Turinese Ovazza family, who ironically funded Mussolini). Grandpa Jean-Paul Elkann married into the Agnelli family through his 1st marriage to Margherita Angelli. Grandpa Jean-Paul was a banker who also was a one time VP of Givenchy in New York, and also a director of Christian Dior SA Group.

          IOW, there’s ALL KINDS of REAL PRIVILEGE in young Lapo’s background. He is only restricted in income to whatever amount is deemed appropriate by the trustee who sprinkles him with manna, presumably at the trustees discretion, as Lapo’s circumstances at any given moment may help determine.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    It probably would have been less work to have simply gotten a job and actually made the $10,000 than this elaborate hoax.

  • avatar

    Shouldn’t it be politically incorrect to identify someone as a “transgender woman”? I mean, if the identity is what matters, why the qualification? Aren’t transgender women fully female?

    Also, I’m not a coke fiend, but $10,000 sounds like an awful lot of dope. According to price guides on the web, a kilo of coke is about $30,000 in New York City. $10,000 should buy you about a pound and I don’t think it’s possible for two people to ingest that much cocaine in a weekend and survive. As for marijuana, if you chain smoked joints you might go through an ounce in a weekend, just a couple hundred dollars.

    Either the hooker was marking things way up, or Lapo was paying for another kind of blow.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Oh that’s definitely a #microagression, I need my #safespace.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Either the hooker was marking things way up, or Lapo was paying for another kind of blow.”

      Yes and yes.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “Shouldn’t it be politically incorrect to identify someone as a “transgender woman”? I mean, if the identity is what matters, why the qualification? Aren’t transgender women fully female?”

        Someone just thinks that it makes the story more SENSATIONAL. A hooker is a hooker is a hooker. If you are scandalized by him purchasing the someones body for his use for a fixed amount of time then it shouldn’t matter which one of the 37 Tinder gender identifiers the person uses.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Many trans folks (but not all) consider the “trans” to be part of their identity and don’t object to its use.

      As I understand it, some people also like to use it to increase visibility and awareness of trans people generally.

      So to answer your question, no.

      Unless somebody minds being identified as trans and asks you to stop doing it. In which case it’s still not politically incorrect to keep it up, but it is a jerk move.

      I suspect you aren’t asking this out of a genuine desire to increase your understanding, but are instead tilting at PC windmills to show how clever you are.

    • 0 avatar
      yankinwaoz

      Well I’m sure it wasn’t all just for him. He was buying for his rent-a-friend, and god knows who else, too.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    My take on it is once he got the money for it, he was stocking up on it for all the upcoming Holiday bashes. You know, maybe. Or, maybe he likes to “party all the time.” But blowing your money on blow doesn’t strike me as a wise investment in any way. Let’s hope he now gets some help.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    I don’t know that there’s any good time to concoct a fake kidnapping story, but I’m for damn sure that when you’re shacked up with hookers and wasted out of your head on drugs, it’s a really bad time for it.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    So thats why Fiat ranks near the uh, bottom of reliability and quality rankings.

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