David Blaine under investigation over sexual assault claims in New York

One woman alleges she was attacked at his Manhattan apartment in 1998

Illusionist David Blaine is under investigation after sexual assault allegations were levelled against him, authorities in New York have confirmed.

The New York Police Department’s chief of detectives, Dermot Shea, confirmed on Monday that Blaine is under “active” investigation, but declined to discuss further details – including whether the illusionist will be interviewed over the claims.

Shea’s comments came after he was quizzed on a report by the Daily Beast news website which claimed that the NYPD had taken statements from two women who accused Blaine of sexually assaulting them. One of the accusers claims that she was attacked by the star inside his Manhattan apartment in 1998.

David Blaine

In a separate statement about the latest allegations on Monday, the NYPD said 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”.

It was announced last month that Blaine is set to undertake his first ever tour of the UK and Ireland in June. 

The 45-year-old illusionist is known for performing death-defying stunts and was famously frozen inside a block of ice for 63 hours in New York in 2000.

In 2003, he also stayed suspended in a plexiglass cage suspended 30ft above the River Thames in London for more than 40 days.