Proving once again that literally no industry is free from allegations of sex abuse, magician David Blaine is under investigation by British police after a model accused him of drugging and raping her in 2004.
According to the Daily Beast, Natasha Prince said she first met Blaine at an upscale London nightclub in the summer of that year. He was nice, she recalls, though she didn’t think much of their interaction until he texted her the next day, asking her to meet him at his friends’ house for drinks. She had to work the following morning, but decided to stop by anyway, just for one.
Blaine greeted Prince at the door, and made her a vodka soda. After around 20 minutes of conversation, Prince said Blaine asked to show her something in a nearby bedroom:
“I followed him, and we went into the bedroom, and it’s dark. I told him right away when he texted me that I was working tomorrow. So I was thinking maybe we would have a sort of intimate conversation somewhere else for five or ten minutes. But he spun around quite quickly and said, ‘Kiss me.’ I did kiss him. And then he said, ‘Finish your drink’ and took the glass from me and put it on the table, and that’s really the last thing I remember.”
When she came to, she said, Blaine was behind her, and that “it woke me up a little bit, because I’d never had that [anal sex] done to me before.”
Prince said that she went to work the next morning, where she tried to puzzle out what happened. She interacted with Blaine intermittently throughout the years, though she was never fully able to recount the details of that night. Still, the incident had a lasting impact on her.
“I think I tried really hard to block it out. But I carried this awful feeling with me,” she said. Three years ago, she quit drinking and started seeing a therapist, and in November of 2016, went to the police with her allegations. (Britain does not have a statute of limitations for sex crimes.)
Blaine, in a statement made through his attorney, Marty Singer, told the Daily Beast:
“My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever, and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004,” the statement said. (“This would include Natasha Prince,” Singer said in an additional statement.) “If, in fact, there is any police investigation, my client will fully cooperate because he has nothing to hide.”
Asked why she didn’t go to the authorities earlier, Prince said:
“You have to understand, my interpretation was that it was my fault. I didn’t think of it as rape. In my head, rape was being sober—pull her in a bush, pull down her pants and just ditch her... So I blamed myself. I did like him. I was interested in him. So I didn’t think about going to the police.
Prince’s story surfaces amid the continued reverberations of numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault by production mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose long history of sexual misconduct was made public by the New York Times on October 5. Since then, stories of sex abuse have abounded in both the media and in more personal channels, with millions of women sharing their experiences via the #MeToo campaign.
Officers from Scotland Yard are currently investigating the allegations, though no arrests have been made.