All the stars who actually have been kidnapped – after police foil attempt to ‘kidnap and kill’ Holly Willoughby

Sadly it is more common than you would like to think

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This Morning veteran Holly Willoughby has had a challenging year, and things escalated even further when an alleged plot to kidnap the TV star was revealed last week.

Last Thursday, Holly was absent from the ITV morning show, with viewers soon learning that she had been involved in an alleged kidnapping plot.

Dermot O’Leary spoke about the news on Friday’s This Morning and said: “We have to start with a story about one of our own. Holly is on the front pages this morning after police arrested a man over an alleged kidnap plot. He’s now been charged by Police.”

TV presenter Holly Willoughby in a red dress standing and smiling at the : Prince's Trust Awards in London this year
An alleged plot to capture and kill Holly Willoughby was uncovered with the star now resting before returning to ITV (Credit: Cover-Images)

Holly Willoughby kidnap plot

The police were said to have found “sinister messages” threatening to kidnap and “seriously harm” the presenter, with The Sun reporting that Holly had a police guard at her home.

Holly is now safe but the disturbing news saw the presenter pull out from attending the Pride of Britain Awards.

It was also reported by The Mail On Sunday, that Holly won’t be back on This Morning until after the half-term holidays.

Sadly, Holly is not the first celebrity to be threatened with kidnap or be involved in a kidnap case.

Celebrities have been targeted for kidnappings and ransoms for years. You might be surprised to learn that some leading Hollywood names have also been involved.

Katie Price on the Channel 4 show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins
Katie revealed the reason she went on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins was to help herselffeel more protected (Credit: Channel 4)

Katie Price

Former glamour model Katie Price has been held at gunpoint as well as receiving kidnapping threats against her children.

In 2016, mechanics found a tracking device on her car. Once highlighted to the police, this helped the forces to uncover a £1 million kidnap plot targeting her children.

The reality star said that was the reason she signed up to appear on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. At the time, she said: “I’ve been through the ordeal of kidnapping threats a few times before, and it is terrifying. You can buy all the security you want. I’ve got panic buttons and everything like that. But if something did happen, by the time the police would be able to get to my house, they would have already got me.”

She had also previously revealed that she was held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted when travelling from Johannesburg to Swaziland. Katie said: “Police said it was a miracle they didn’t kill us.”

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Welsh Singer Duffy was rising in the charts with hits such as Mercy and Warwick Avenue. Then all of a sudden she seemed to just stop.

In 2020, the star shared a statement on her website. It listed the tragic details of being held captive and being assaulted.

“It was my birthday, I was drugged at a restaurant, I was drugged then for four weeks and travelled to a foreign country. I can’t remember getting on the plane and came round in the back of a travelling vehicle. I was put into a hotel room and the perpetrator returned and raped me.” Duffy added: “I remember the pain and trying to stay conscious in the room after it happened. I was stuck with him for another day, he didn’t look at me, I was to walk behind him, I was somewhat conscious and withdrawn.”

She shared: “I could have been disposed of by him.”

Drugged and raped by perpetrator

“I contemplated running away to the neighbouring city or town, as he slept, but had no cash and I was afraid he would call the police on me, for running away, and maybe they would track me down as a missing person.” Duffy continued: “I do not know how I had the strength to endure those days. I did feel the presence of something that helped me stay alive.” She went on to add: “I flew back with him, I stayed calm and as normal as someone could in a situation like that, and when I got home, I sat, dazed, like a zombie.

“I knew my life was in immediate danger, he made veiled confessions of wanting to kill me. With what little strength I had, my instinct was to then run, to run and find somewhere to live that he could not find,” she said.

“The perpetrator drugged me in my own home in the four weeks. I do not know if he raped me there during that time. I only remember coming round in the car in the foreign country and the escape that would happen by me fleeing in the days following that.”

Jessica Alba in a purple dress arriving at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Jessica Alba was kidnapped for several hours as a young actress (Credit: Cover-Images)

Jessica Alba

Hollywood star Jessica Alba was kidnapped at a young age early in her career. Around the age of 15, when she was filming the movie, Flipper she started to receive strange phone calls on set.

Soon after, she disappeared from filming and went missing for 14 hours. According to reports, she was found blindfolded, gagged, and restrained in the boot of a car. The star keeps her private life very private and has not spoken publicly about it.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Despite being an on-screen superhero, Marvel‘s Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch was held at gunpoint in 2004.

The Sherlock actor opened up on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast about the incident which happened in South Africa.

He told the host: “I was put into the boot of the car, and at one point, my shoelaces were bound to my wrists.”

He and his peers had their money stolen in an ordeal that lasted two and half hours.

Kim Kardashian kidnap plot

In 2016, Kim Kardashian was the subject of a horrific ordeal. The reality star was in an apartment in Paris when two men dressed as police officers knocked on her door. Once in the room, they tied her up with plastic cables and put duct tape over her eyes and mouth and around her legs.

They are believed to have left with her $4 million engagement ring. As well as that, two diamond Cartier bracelets and a gold Rolex amounting to around $10 million were also taken.

E! Online reported in 2021 that 12 people were charged in connection with the armed robbery.

Chloe Ayling

Model Chloe Ayling was kidnapped in Milan, Italy, in 2017 after heading there for a photoshoot. A TV adaption of Chloe’s book, which talks about the ordeal, is in production and is written by Killing Eve and Skins writer Georgia Lester.

The six-part drama is called Kidnapped.

Brothers Lukasz and Michal Herba were behind the kidnapping. They held Chloe for six days. They were hoping to secure £265,000 in ransom. 

Foiled kidnap attempt on Princess Anne

In 1974 a royal family member was also at the heart of a kidnap attempt.

Princess Anne was 23 at the time and was travelling back to Buckingham Palace with her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips. Ian Ball is said to have suddenly blocked off their car and pulled out a handgun. He shot Anne’s chauffeur, her security officer and a nearby tabloid journalist who tried to intervene.

The culprit intended to hold her for a £2 million ransom.

The kidnapping was foiled by boxer Ronnie Russell. He was passing by and punched Ball in the head. Ronnie was awarded a George Cross medal.

Read more: Phillip Schofield ‘offers support to Holly Willoughby’ amid ‘kidnap plot’ ordeal: ‘There is still a bond there’

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