Magician David Blaine subject of sexual assault investigation by New York police

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Magician David Blaine performs onstage during the Onward18 Conference on October 24, 2018 in New York City. | Craig Barritt/Getty Images

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department is investigating sexual assault allegations against magician David Blaine, authorities confirmed on Monday.

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters at an unrelated news conference that Blaine is under investigation. He declined to discuss any details, including whether police had sought to interview Blaine.

Shea was responding to a report by the Daily Beast website that the NYPD had taken statements from two women accusing Blaine of sexual assault. Citing unnamed sources, the report said one of the alleged victims claims she was attacked by Blaine inside his Manhattan apartment in 1998.

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 website said.

The 45-year-old Blaine is known for stunts like being buried underground for seven days without food or water in New York in 1999. He also stayed in a plexiglass case suspended 30 feet (9 meters) above the Thames Rivers in London for more than 40 days in 2003.

Phone and email messages requesting comment were sent to his lawyer on Monday. According to his website, he is to begin a tour in the United Kingdom and Irleand in June.

In a separate statement about the New York City case 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.”

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