David Blaine Under NYPD Investigation Over Sexual-Assault Allegations
Detectives with the Special Victims Unit took statements from two women in recent weeks.
Superstar magician David Blaine is under investigation by law enforcement in New York over allegations he sexually assaulted at least two women, the NYPD said Monday.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said during a press conference Monday that “there is an active investigation” into complaints against Blaine by the department’s Special Victims Unit (SVU).
A senior NYPD official with knowledge of the probe told The Daily Beast that SVU detectives took statements from two women. At least one of the claims may fall outside the statute of limitations: a woman told detectives she was sexually assaulted by Blaine inside his Manhattan apartment in 1998, according to a person familiar with her complaint.
Asked if police were seeking to interview Blaine or had reached out to him, Shea said, “no comment.”
Blaine has not been charged with a crime. He told The Daily Beast he has no comment and he has not been approached by police.
“The NYPD takes sexual assault and rape cases extremely seriously,” Chief Spokesman Phil Walzak said in a statement, “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.”
Former model Natasha Prince alleged Blaine raped her in London in 2004, an allegation Blaine denied. Scotland Yard detectives took Prince’s statement and later said they declined to take further action after investigating her claim.
Blaine, 45, made a name for himself 20 years ago when he was buried in a coffin underground without food or water for seven days. He made international headlines in 2003 when he remained suspended 30 feet in the air in a transparent, plexiglass case for more than 40 days in London.
Blaine is scheduled to begin a tour of the UK and Ireland in June.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with NYPD’s confirmation of the Blaine investigation.