Publicist: David Blaine denies sexual assault allegations
NEW YORK (AP) — David Blaine denies sexual assault allegations under investigation in New York City and intends to cooperate with authorities, his publicist said in a statement Tuesday.
New York police confirmed Monday that the magician is under investigation, following a Daily Beast report that the department had taken statements from two women accusing Blaine of sexual assault.
Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, speaking at an unrelated news conference, declined to discuss any details about Blaine’s case and wouldn’t say whether police had sought to interview him.
“David denies the accusations that have been reported and he takes these allegations seriously,” the statement from Blaine’s publicist said. “He intends to cooperate with any investigation.”
The Daily Beast, citing unnamed sources, said one of Blaine’s accusers alleges he attacked her inside his Manhattan apartment in 1998, which may fall outside the statute of limitations.
The Daily Beast had previously reported that a former model alleged Blaine raped her in London in 2004, an allegation he denied. Scotland Yard detectives later declined to take further action after investigating her claim, the news website said.
Blaine, 45, is known for stunts like being buried underground for a week without food or water in New York in 1999. He also lived in a plexiglass case suspended 30 feet (9 meters) above the Thames River in London for more than 40 days in 2003.
Blaine is scheduled to start a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland in June, according to his website.
In a separate statement about the New York City case, the NYPD said Monday it “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.”