People Still Can’t Believe Benedict Cumberbatch Got Kidnapped In South Africa

by : Julia Banim on : 21 Oct 2021 15:30
People Still Can't Believe Benedict Cumberbatch Got Kidnapped In South AfricaAlamy/@allie_kitaguchi/TikTok

As one of the most famous actors on the planet, you would imagine we’d all be well aware of something dramatic and terrifying happening to Benedict Cumberbatch, like getting kidnapped.

However, it turns out that this exact scenario happened to the 45-year-old thespian in South Africa back in 2005, at around the same time he received an Olivier Award for his acclaimed performance in classic Norwegian play Hedda Gabler.


Despite making headlines, this traumatic ordeal hasn’t quite entered the public consciousness as common knowledge, and a lot of fans were seemingly unaware about what Cumberbatch went through all those years ago. Now, however, the gap in ‘Batch history has been highlighted by TikToker Allie Kitaguchi, who has given a ‘brief overview’ of what actually happened to Cumberbatch that day.

Check it out below:


Kitaguchi, 23, revealed how in 2005 (not 2004 as some have mistakenly claimed), the Doctor Strange actor had been in South Africa with two of his friends, Denise and Theo.


According to Kitaguchi:

They were driving down the road in South Africa and Benedict has said in interviews that he knew this road was kind of sketchy, and very shady, and they were kind of nervous about it.

It was at this point that their tyre burst, forcing the group of friends to get out of the car, right on the road that had made them feel so nervous.

Kitaguchi explained how the group had to ‘dig through’ the luggage in the trunk of their vehicle in order to get to the spare tyre. It was at this point that things got scary.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Alamy)Alamy

As told by Kitaguchi:

As they were doing that, they were run up on by six armed assailants, who then started asking them what drugs they had, how much money they had, and they basically ended up tying them up.

Cumberbatch was reportedly put in the trunk, while his two friends were shoved into the back seats. The assailants then drove them beneath an overpass, at which point Cumberbatch would later recall how he heard large trucks driving above them.


Kitaguchi said:

He thought, ‘oh this would be the perfect time to shoot somebody because nobody would be able to hear the gunshots’. So they were forced out of the car, he says ‘execution style’.

He remembers sitting on his knees like begging for his life, him and his friends. And at some point he turned around and realised the assailants had let them go.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Alamy)Alamy

Fortunately, the trio were able to walk away and eventually happened upon a woman who helped them call the police and get to safety.


Cumberbatch, who sadly still suffers from PTSD following this incident, later revealed how he cried with the gratitude the following day, realising just how close he had come to losing his life.

Kitaguchi’s followers have been left aghast by this story, which many have never heard before. One person commented that they were ‘glad he came out ok’, while another wrote that their ‘mouth was open’ throughout Kitaguchi’s retelling of the story.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Celebrity, Benedict Cumberbatch, South Africa


Allie Kitaguchi/TikTok
  1. Allie Kitaguchi/TikTok