Magician David Blaine is under investigation by law enforcement regarding claims he sexually assaulted two women.
Both women allege Blaine attacked them in separate incidents more than 20 years ago in Manhattan, New York, with one claiming he hypnotised her into compliance.
NYPD officials have confirmed there’s an ‘active investigation’ of the 46-year-old entertainer underway, although no charges have been made, and he’s not been charged with a crime.
As reported by the New York Post, sources say the first woman told police approximately one year ago she met Blaine through a friend in 1997 and went to his apartment. It is there she alleges Blaine hypnotised her and made her masturbate him while she was still in a hypnotic state, sources said.
Approximately one week ago, another woman contacted police officials and claimed she was sexually assaulted by Blaine in his apartment in 1998.
It’s thought the statute of limitations for prosecuting Blaine (whereby a criminal action against the perpetrator must commence within a certain time period) may have passed, sources told the New York Post.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said during a press conference on Monday (April 1), ‘there is an active investigation’ into the allegations by the department’s Special Victims Unit (SVU), the Daily Beast reports.
However, when asked if investigators were seeking to interview Blaine or had reached out to him at all, Shea said ‘no comment’.
Blaine has not been charged with a crime and told the Daily Beast he has no comment to make, and hasn’t been approached by police.
Chief Spokesperson for the NYPD, Phil Walzak, said in a statement:
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.
However, Blaine’s publicist, Jill Fritzo, has released a statement in which he denies the sexual assault allegations made against him, reports the Daily Mail.
The short statement reads:
David denies the accusations that have been reported and he takes these allegations seriously. He intends to cooperate with any investigation.
Blaine, who first made international headlines in 1999 when he was buried alive inside a plastic box underneath a three-ton water-filled tank for seven days, had previously been accused of rape by former model Natasha Price.
Price alleged Blaine raped her in London in 2004, however Blaine told police the two had consensual sex. Scotland Yard closed the case without any charges the following year.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on its website or on its helpline – 0808 800 5005.