The magician David Copperfield, accused of sexual assault by 16 women, half of them minors | Society

The magician David Copperfield, accused of sexual assault by 16 women, half of them minors | Society
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The famous magician David Copperfield (New Jersey, 67 years old), who especially in the nineties was a figure of global fame and brought the most modern magic to large audiences, has been accused of sexual assault by 16 women, according to an investigation that the newspaper has carried out Guardian and which he published this Wednesday. The American edition of the British media reports that The attacks cover a long period of time: from the late 1980s to 2014. When they took place, more than half of the girls were under 18 years old; some reached 15 years old. Three of them accuse him of having drugged them to have sexual relations, so they could not give their consent. He denies all allegations.

Some of the women have given their testimony with their names and surnames, allowing themselves to be photographed, while others have preferred to remain anonymous. To carry out the report, the newspaper has conducted more than 100 interviews and listened to court recordings. One of those who has decided to come forward is former model Brittney Lewis, who claims that Copperfield drugged and assaulted her in 1988, when she was 17 years old. She already made it public in 2018 and now she continues to maintain it, and there are several who join her testimony, affirm that the pattern was very similar with them and say that, both alone and with friends, they were drugged and suffered attacks from of the magician A victim with the nickname Gillian claims that she met Copperfield in 1993 and that the same thing happened to her: “I would never say something like that about someone, I swear to God they had drugged me.”

Model Claudia Schiffer and magician David Copperfield, who were a couple between 1994 and 1999, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, in March 1995.WWD (WWD via Getty Images)

Several women have explained what these abuses were like, showing a pattern: they say that, when they were very young, they wanted to have a career in the entertainment industry or be models, and that he offered to help them. A woman named Carla (now in her forties) says that she saw the magician for the first time in one of his shows in 1991, when she was 15 years old, and it was not until now that she realized that he groped her then. He then started sending him tickets to shows and gifts from her. When she was 16, she sent him some balloons for Valentine’s Day, with a note that read: “I’ll be back in two years.” When she turned 18, the young woman decided to have consensual sexual relations with him, which was her first time. The lawyers representing the magician affirm that he did indeed meet the girl when she was just a teenager and that they had a relationship for four years, but they “absolutely deny any suggestion of touching or inappropriate acts.”

Four of the women (three of them then in their teens) accuse Copperfield of touching them or, when he brought them on stage, touching them in a sexual manner. Even a relative of one of the girls, then 15 years old, remembers seeing from the stalls how she groped his chest on stage. One of them tells it with names and surnames: Fallon Thornton, now 38 years old, has told how a decade ago, in 2014, Copperfield took her on stage at the MGM Grand casino and hotel in Las Vegas, where she was doing a show, and told her he squeezed his chest. She then went to the city police to file a complaint, but she assures that no one took her seriously and that they closed the case due to lack of evidence. Copperfield’s lawyers deny this and affirm that this gesture is not seen in the videos from that night. The newspaper has not been able to access the videos and the casino – where the magician has performed regularly since 2000 – has refused to comment.

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Copperfield appeared in the famous Epstein papers that were made public in January, the declassified documents about the tycoon accused of pedophilia Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison in 2019. One of the victims, Johanna Sjoberg, tells in her May 2016 statement (of 179 pages) how she saw to the magician at Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach (Florida). Copperfield performed some magic tricks on her and asked him, she told the court, if he was aware that “girls get paid to find other girls.” Copperfield announced in 2023 that she had begun working with the NGO Save The Children and that they would do a large number to make the moon disappear in February 2024. It never happened. The association severed ties with him in January, the day after his appearance in the documents became public.

Women have said that it was not until the Me Too movement emerged — in October 2017 when, after the arrest of producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual violence, actress Alyssa Milano raised her voice and invited all women who had suffered it to tell it—when some of them realized they could talk about what happened to a man of Copperfield’s fame, power and fortune (according to an article in Forbes Five years ago he was the highest paid magician in the world, with 875 million dollars).

The magician’s lawyers have stated that their client “has never acted inappropriately with anyone, much less with minors,” and have assured that a “truthful” description of Copperfield would describe his “kindness, shyness and respectful treatment of men.” and women”. They also assure that he is a great defender of the Me Too movement and that drugs “are not part of his world”; Furthermore, they deny that he “knew about the horrendous crimes committed by Epstein” and that “like the rest of the world, he found out from the press.”

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