David Blaine under investigation over sexual assault allegations from two women
David Blaine has been placed under police investigation after allegations that the magician sexually assaulted two women.
According to the New York Post, two women allege that Blaine assaulted them back in 1997 in Manhattan, more than 20 years ago. The cases have been taken up by sex detectives at the NYPD Special Victims Division’s Cold Case Squad, though as yet no charges have been made.
The first woman to report Blaine to authorities did so exactly one year ago, reporting that she met Blaine through a friend, and made her way to his apartment. There, sources allege that Blaine hypnotised the woman, and made her touch him in a sexual manner whilst still in a trance.
A week later, another woman reported that Blaine assaulted her in 1998. As per the New York Post, sources say that the claim may fall outside the statute of limitations. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea did confirm on Monday, however, that an "active investigation" was underway.
But when Shea was asked if Blaine had been interviewed or if police were seeking an interview with him, Shea said: "no comment." According to the Daily Beast, Chief Spokesman for the NYPD Phil Walzak has released a statement urging other victims of sexual assault of any kind to come forward.
"The NYPD takes sexual assault and rape cases extremely seriously and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors."
David Blaine also explained to the Daily Beast that he had not been approached by police over the issue, and that he had no further comment on the assault allegations. However this is not the first time that Blaine has been accused of sexual assault.
A 2017 article, also from the Daily Beast, said that Natasha Prince, a model-turned-art dealer, accused David Blaine of assaulting her in her London home in 2004, an allegation that British police spoke to Blaine about before Scotland Yard declined to investigate further, based on the statement Prince had given them.
"Officers from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command are investigating an allegation of rape," Scotland Yard said to the news outlet at the time.
"The allegation was reported to police on 17 November 2016 by a woman who alleged she was raped at an address in Chelsea in June or July 2004 when she was aged 21. There have been no arrests at this stage and enquiries continue."
David Blaine, however, denied the allegations made by Prince, saying via a lawyer statement:
"My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever, and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004. If, in fact, there is any police investigation, my client will fully cooperate because he has nothing to hide."
Blaine is scheduled to begin a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland this June.