David Copperfield Accused of Sexual Misconduct With Minors – The Daily Beast

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The legendary U.S. magician David Copperfield has been accused of sexually harassing and acting inappropriately toward 16 women, The Guardian reported in a bombshell investigation published Wednesday.

Among the most shocking allegations was a claim that the 67-year-old illusionist “drugged three women before he had sexual relations with them, which they felt they were unable to consent to.”

The report, which took more than five years to compile, also alleged that more than half of Copperfield’s accusers were under 18 when they were allegedly sexually harassed or “groomed.” At least one of his accusers claimed to have been as young as 15 years old at the time of the alleged incidents.

The allegations reportedly concern incidents that span three decades, beginning in the 1980s and continuing into 2014.

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Copperfield “denied wrongdoing of any kind” when asked by The Guardian for comment. A representative for him told The Daily Beast he’s discussing with his legal team potential steps to combat “these false and scurrilous allegations.”

It’s not the first time the magician has faced allegations of sexual misconduct. In 2018, Brittney Lewis went public to allege that Copperfield drugged her and then sexually assaulted her when she was a 17-year-old model in 1988—an allegation he vehemently denied. “I’ve lived with years of news reports about me being accused of fabricated, heinous acts, with few telling the story of the accuser getting arrested, and my innocence,” he said in a statement at the time.

Facing fresh allegations this year, Copperfield’s lawyers offered a similar statement to The Guardian. His attorneys asserted he “never acted inappropriately with anyone, let alone anyone underage,” adding that claims of inappropriate touching were “not only completely false, but also entirely implausible.”

Four of Copperfield’s accusers alleged they were groped or were coaxed into touching the entertainer “in a sexual way during live performances on stage,” The Guardian reported. Family members for one onstage model told the newspaper they witnessed him grope their loved one’s breasts without consent.

Fallon Thornton, now 38, told the paper that Copperfield also squeezed her breast on stage after she was called up from the crowd during a January 2014 performance at the MGM Grand. She said she reported the alleged assault to Las Vegas cops, but nothing came of it after they said there was insufficient evidence.

One new accuser, identified by The Guardian using the pseudonym Gillian, told the outlet that she “honest to God” believes she and a friend were drugged by Copperfield prior to him having sex with them both. That alleged encounter took place in 1993, she said, after they agreed to meet Copperfield for a drink following one of his shows.

Another women, identified using the pseudonym Carla, told The Guardian that she was groomed by Copperfield when she was as young as 15. She alleged that he’d call her late at night when she was still underage and would send her “gifts and tickets to his shows.” Once she turned 18, she said she consensually lost her virginity to him.

Responding to Carla’s allegations, lawyers for Copperfield said he “strongly denies any suggestion of grooming or any other impropriety.”

In a statement sent to The Daily Beast, a representative for Copperfield said The Guardian’s accusations are the “exact opposite” of who the magician really is.

“Everyone that knows David Copperfield will tell you that these recent allegations from one newspaper are the exact opposite of who David is,” the statement said. “In fact, David has a record of risking his career to help protect women from powerful predators. Most of these historic accusations have been made before, and all of them are as false now as they were then. David requested the ‘evidence’ upon which these false allegations claim to rely and this has not been provided. By contrast, whenever US law enforcement has looked into such matters, they have been investigated thoroughly and it has been found that there is simply no case to answer.

“The Guardian’s characterization is not who David is, and he continues to support anyone who has experienced any form of abuse or discrimination. The movement must succeed, but false accusations must stop for it to flourish. David will be considering the position with his legal team and will take such steps as may be appropriate over these false and scurrilous allegations.”

These are the first allegations of sexual misconduct against Copperfield to surface since Lewis spoke out in 2018. He was, however, listed among the high-profile individuals who were named in court documents unsealed in January relating to Jeffrey Epstein—an association that appeared to cause him to lose a partnership show in coordination with Save the Children that was slated for the following month.

Lawyers for Copperfield addressed that connection to The Guardian, too.

“Our client did not know about Epstein’s horrific crimes,” his lawyers said. “Like the rest of the world, he learned about it from the press.”

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