David Copperfield faces sexual misconduct claims from 16 women – USA TODAY

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Following past allegations of sexual assault, magician David Copperfield is facing a flurry of new sexual misconduct claims.

Copperfield is the subject of an extensive investigation conducted by The Guardian’s U.S. edition, published Wednesday. The investigation examines the damning allegations of numerous women who claim the famed illusionist sexually assaulted them or behaved inappropriately during their interactions.

In total, 16 women have come forward and accused Copperfield of sexual abuse and lewd conduct, including grooming, groping, drugging and rape. Many of the women are identified in the investigation using pseudonyms to protect their identities.

Attorneys for Copperfield have denied the women’s allegations and said Copperfield has “never, ever acted inappropriately with anyone, let alone anyone underage.”


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Magician David Copperfield is facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, stemming from an extensive investigation by The Guardian.

A representative for Copperfield said the allegations against the magician are “the exact opposite of who David is” in an emailed statement to USA TODAY.

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“David has a record of risking his career to help protect women from powerful predators,” the statement read. “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 U.S. 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.”

Woman alleges David Copperfield groomed her when she was a teen

Carla, who claims she was 15 when she met Copperfield at a show of his in 1991, said she was approached by the magician after briefly appearing in his performance as a special guest. Despite being underage at the time, Carla alleges Copperfield took her phone number and promised to take the teen out for dinner when she turned 18.

Copperfield allegedly kept in touch with Carla by sending the young woman notes and gifts, as well as frequently making phone calls to her family home. After attending another Copperfield performance when she was 17, Carla claims the magician invited her to his limousine, where he allegedly kissed the teen and “pushed her head towards his crotch, which she took to mean she should perform oral sex on him.”

The woman alleges she later had “penetrative sex” with Copperfield, who was 37 at the time, after she turned 18. While she describes their relationship as “consensual,” Carla also noted the “power and financial imbalance” between them.

“I was a young schoolgirl infatuated with a man who was famous, and I think he used that to benefit him,” Carla told the Guardian. “Why would he continue to reach out to me through those years if he wasn’t planning on pouncing as soon as I turned 18?”

Copperfield’s lawyers denied the grooming allegation to The Guardian and called his relationship with Carla “a wholly lawful, four-year consensual relationship 30 years ago.”

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Woman alleges David Copperfield drugged and raped her after Las Vegas show

Gillian alleges she met Copperfield in the early 1990s when she was invited to join the illusionist onstage during a performance at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Following the performance, Gillian and a friend were waiting in line for an autograph from Copperfield when the magician’s assistant approached them and asked if they wanted to have a drink with Copperfield after his next performance.

The women were purportedly invited to Copperfield’s hotel suite, where they each were given a glass of sambuca to drink. However, after having the drink, Gillian claims she began to feel “physically weird” and subsequently “blacked out for a while.”

Gillian, who was in her 20s at the time of the alleged incident, says she recalls “patches” of Copperfield sexually assaulting her and her friend while lying in the magician’s bed.

“I am 56 years old now,” Gillian told The Guardian. “Never in my life have I had a time where I don’t consciously remember (a period of time). … I would never just say this to somebody if I didn’t truly, honest to God believe that I was drugged at that time.”

Lawyers for the magician told The Guardian “No such claims or complaints were ever made about him to Caesars Palace – where he then had a residency – or elsewhere in relation to such alleged misconduct.” They added that drugs are “not a part of his world.”

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David Copperfield accused of groping teen onstage during performance

Lily, who attended a performance of Copperfield’s around 1993, said she was selected to join the illusionist onstage to perform a magic trick. The routine required Copperfield to place his arms around Lily – who was 14 or 15 at the time – while they both held onto a rope.

While holding the rope, the woman alleges Copperfield’s forearms went “up and down on my chest, pretty hard … while he was talking and performing the trick.”

“I kind of spaced out and froze,” Lily told The Guardian. “I felt really gross and embarrassed.”

Copperfield’s lawyers denied to The Guardian that the “rope trick” described by Lily involves any “unlawful touching.”

“This trick has been performed in front of tens of millions of people over many years with tens of thousands of audience members onstage, not to mention cameras and security at all angles, without any complaint ever being made,” the lawyers said.

David Copperfield:Magician accused of drugging, assaulting model when she was 17

David Copperfield previously accused of sexual assault

Copperfield became the subject of a two-year investigation by the FBI after a woman named Lacey Carroll alleged in 2007 that the magician raped her on his private island, per The Guardian. The investigation was dropped in 2009 with little explanation.

Caroll also dropped her sexual assault lawsuit against Copperfield, according to People magazine and The Associated Press (via Today.com). In a statement, Caroll said at the time that Copperfield’s team subjected her to “intense scrutiny and constant surveillance, while her family, friends and co-workers (had) been besieged with subpoenas and demands for personal information.”

Another woman named Brittney Lewis alleged she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Copperfield in 1988 when she was a 17-year-old aspiring model, The Wrap reported in 2018. The alleged assault took place after she competed in a modeling contest in which Copperfield was a judge.

Copperfield, then 32, reportedly invited Lewis to a show in California and later poured something into her drink in a bar. Lewis said she blacked out, but the woman remembers him taking off her clothing and performing sexual acts on her in a hotel room.

Lewis said she reported her claims to the FBI in 2007 and was not seeking a financial settlement.

Contributing: Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline offers free, confidential, 24/7 support to survivors and their loved ones in English and Spanish at: 800.656.HOPE (4673) and Hotline.RAINN.org and en Español RAINN.org/es.

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