UK

David Blaine under investigation over UK model's rape claim

Composite photograph of David Blaine and Natasha Prince Image copyright Getty Images

US illusionist David Blaine is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police over an alleged rape of a British former model in 2004.

Natasha Prince, 34, claimed the US magician attacked her at a house in Chelsea, west London, when she was 21.

Police have asked Mr Blaine to travel to the UK for interview under caution, according to emails seen by the BBC.

Mr Blaine, 44, "vehemently denies" the allegations and will "fully co-operate" with a police inquiry, his lawyer said.

In an email to Ms Prince, the Met said officers had told Mr Blaine's lawyers that they were investigating a "historic allegation of sexual assault made by a female in London".

The allegation was reported to police in London in November 2016.

Ms Prince, who now works as an art dealer in New York, has waived her right to anonymity under sexual offences legislation to confirm she made the allegation.

She first made the claims public to US website the Daily Beast, saying: "I think I tried really hard to block it out. But I carried this awful feeling with me."

Mr Blaine's lawyer, Marty Singer, denied all the allegations and told the website: "My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever, and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004."

He said Mr Blaine will "fully co-operate" with any police investigation, saying he has "nothing to hide".

The Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command confirmed it was investigating an allegation of rape at an address in Chelsea in June or July 2004 of a woman aged 21.

The force said there had been no arrests and enquiries were ongoing.