Scandal in show business: 16 women accuse David Copperfield of “inappropriate sexual conduct”

The famous American illusionist David Seth Kotkin, better known as David Copperfield, is accused of inappropriate sexual conduct against 16 women, such as having drugged three of them to have sexual relations without their consent, according to an investigation by the British newspaper The Guardian, published this Wednesday, May 15.

According to the document signed by correspondents Lucy Osborne and Stephanie Kirchgaessner, more than half of the accusations come from women who claimed to be minors when the events occurred, some even claimed to be only 15 years old, “although it is possible that Copperfield did not know their ages,” says The Guardian.

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David, who lived his heyday in the 1990s and is considered one of the greatest magicians in history, denies these accusations that span from the late 1980s to 2014. Some victims argued to the British media that after the #MeToo movement they felt capable to share his experiences with the 67-year-old illusionist.

“In written responses, his lawyers commented that he has never acted inappropriately with anyone, much less with any minor. Furthermore, a ‘truthful description of Copperfield would describe her kindness, shyness, and her treatment of men and women with respect,’” the newspaper says on its website.

Later, the magician’s defenders mention that David Copperfield is a great follower of #MeToo, a movement that began in 2017 to denounce sexual assault and harassment, following the accusations against the American film producer and executive Harvey Weinstein. However, the complaints work against them supporting this initiative.

One of the 16 women, Brittney Lewis, posted in 2018 that he had drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1988, when she was a 17-year-old model. Copperfield denied the claims, which were published in The Wrap, a digital news outlet that covers entertainment.

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Another person involved, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Guardian a similar experience. She said she agreed to meet Copperfield for “a drink” in 1993, after putting on a show.

However, the illusionist’s lawyers maintained that drugs are not part of the actor’s world. Among his most recognized acts are the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty, levitating over the Grand Canyon and crossing the Wall of China.

“In four other cases, women alleged that Copperfield had touched or forced them to touch them in a sexual manner during live performances. Three were teenagers at the time of the alleged incidents. The relatives of a 15-year-old girl who were sitting in the audience claim that they saw him groping her breasts,” the newspaper notes.

A CASE CLOSED DUE TO “INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE”

Fallon Thornton, 38, testified that Copperfield squeezed her breast after calling her on stage during a January 2014 performance at the MGM Grand Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. She informed MGM and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, records show.

However, Thornton lamented that his accusation was never taken seriously. Police in this Nevada city told the newspaper that they closed the case due to “insufficient evidence.”

In addition to the above, Copperfield has faced scrutiny due to his association with Jeffrey Epstein, imprisoned in Manhattan on federal charges of sex trafficking of girls and who committed suicide in prison in 2019.

“Copperfield was one of the high-profile people named in Epstein-related court documents that were unsealed in January, [pero] The inclusion of Copperfield’s name does not mean that he has committed a crime,” adds The Guardian.

Among his latest publications, the illusionist announced in February that the moon will disappear in 2024 through a magic trick: “Some great events are taking extra time, but I will have more updates soon. Thank you for your patience,” he wrote on Instagram.

Published in cooperation with Newsweek in Spanish

 
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