A model who was kidnapped, drugged and forced to have sex with numerous men at knife-point says she has flashbacks about the ‘moment she lost control’ and was captured – but sceptical police made her feel ‘insignificant’ after reporting the crime.
Swedish-born Frida Farrell, now 41, was held as a sex slave in west London for three days 19 years ago, following a chance encounter while walking home from Oxford Street.
The mother-of-one had been duped into visiting a west London photography studio by a ‘friendly Engglish gentleman, believing she was auditioning for a modelling campaign.
However his demeanour changed as soon as he closed the door behind her, as he locked her in and pulled out a knife before she was spiked and raped by around six men.
She managed to escape after three days when her captor forgot to lock the door behind him, and after running for miles got into a taxi and travelled to a friend’s house in Acton.
After being convinced to report her ordeal, Frida says that dubious police made her feel ‘smaller and smaller’ when they questioned why she walked into the flat of her own free will.
Swedish-born Frida Farrell, now 41, was held as a sex slave in west London for three days 19 years ago, following a chance encounter while walking home from Oxford Street. She is pictured in 2012
‘I started telling the story and they were like: ‘Well, you walked in on your own? He didn’t even force you in?’ she told the Sun.
‘Why would you say something like that? I became smaller and smaller and smaller and I shut down. I felt really, really insignificant.
Frida, then 23, had recently moved to London to train as an actress at the Central School of Speech and Drama when she was approached by a ‘friendly’ and ‘very typically English’ man in a suit.
He asked if she wanted to model for a motorcycle campaign and asked her to attend an audition the following day, which took place in a building on Harley Street.
Frida – who is now mother to a four-year-old daughter and lives in LA – turned her the story of her horrifying ordeal into a movie titled Apartment 407, which she co-wrote and starred in
She was offered £7,000 for the job and told to return to the same place the following day, when her ordeal began.
Frida, who later took part in a film about her ordeal, says the moment she ‘lost control’ was the hardest to film.
Remembering that her brain couldn’t understand ‘what was going on’, she recalls ‘freezing’ when he pulled out a knife, adding: ‘That’s when you really just freeze. Obviously, everything is wrong.’
‘The rest is, in hindsight, not my fault. You can’t change it,’ added.
The model was held at knife-point, before being forced to drink a spiked glass of milk, and moved to a different location where she was forced to have sex with multiple men – she believes around six.
Frida’s captor had removed anything in the tiny apartment that could be used as a weapon, detaching doors, the toilet seats and pulling out any drawers in the building.
But after around three days being held captive, her captor accidentally left the room without locking the door and the terrified young woman fled the building.
Her mother Margareta told the Daily Mail in 2016: ‘It was terrible. Frida called me just a few hours after she had fled from the apartment. She was beside herself and cried her eyes out when she told me what had happened.
Frida, pictured in 2013, said there was a lot of ‘back and forth’ with writers about whether or not to be true to Frida’s experience, rather than dramatising scenes
‘I immediately booked a flight to London and went there straight away. To hear that your daughter has had such a horrific experience really breaks a mother’s heart.
‘After I had arrived in London, we went to the police, but they did not believe her story.
‘The officer just kept asking her if she entered voluntarily and what she was wearing. They seemed to believe that something like that could not happen in such a posh neighbourhood.’
Police searched for her captor but discovered the building had been paid for in cash on a weekly basis and the criminal vanished without a trace.
Frida – who is now mother to a four-year-old daughter and lives in LA – turned her the story of her horrifying ordeal into 2018 movie Apartment 407, which she co-wrote and starred in.
She told the Sun there was a lot of ‘back and forth’ with writers about whether or not to be true to Frida’s experience, rather than dramatising scenes – but they ultimately decided to portray exactly what happened during the ordeal.
Frida turned her horrifying ordeal in the film Selling Isobel, also called Apartment 407, which she wrote and starred in (pictured)
Frida said there was a lot of ‘back and forth’ with writers about whether or not to be true to her experience, rather than dramatising scenes – but they decided to reveal exactly what happened during the ordeal. Pictured, Frida in Apartment 407
‘In reality, what happens is you freeze and you want to become as little as possible so this person won’t use a knife on you,’ she said.
‘It’s not very dramatic in a film but in the end we went with reality because it is very important for me to show the truth.’
The mother has previously warned that her horrific ordeal could happen to anyone – describing herself as ‘just a normal girl’.
Speaking to the Huffington Post in 2018, Frida said: ‘[A]ny woman or any girl could be kidnapped and put into this situation. Anyone is for sale, you’re just a body.
‘They don’t care where you’re from or what you look like. I was just a normal girl, I was like anyone else in my class. It happened to me because I was walking home that night.’
Describing the effect it has had on her life, Frida explained she decided to move away from London, where her captors were.
‘I used to love going out with friends, drinking wine, going to jazz bars, but it was hard for me to fit in now. What if they saw me and tried to take me away?,’ she said.