Magician David Blaine is currently under investigation following sexual assault allegations made against him, police authorities confirmed on Monday.
The chief of detectives, Dermot Shea, of the New York Police Department (NYPD), told reporters at a news conference that Blaine is under an “active” investigation by the department's Special Victims Unit.
Not been charged
Shea was responding to a report by The Daily Beast that the NYPD had taken statements from two women who accused Blaine of sexual assault.
One of the claimants said she was sexually assaulted by Blaine inside his Manhattan apartment in 1998.
However, the allegation may fall outside the statute of limitations, according to sources.
The magician was previously accused of sexual assault in 2004, when it was reported that former model Natasha Prince alleged she was raped by Blaine in London.
Blaine denied the allegation and detectives at Scotland Yard later declined to take any further action after investigating the model's claim.
Still heading on tour?
Shea declined to discuss any details of the on-going investigation, including whether police had sought to interview Blaine about the claims.
In a statement about the 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”.
The 45-year-old magician has not been charged with a crime and told The Daily Beast he has not been approached by police.
According to Blaine's website, he is still due to begin a tour around the UK and Ireland in June, arriving at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Wednesday 5.
The tour is described as “an experiment in and of itself”, with the promise that “no two shows will be exactly the same”.