Magician David Copperfield accused of sexual misconduct by sixteen women

15 May 2024, 17:57 | Updated: 15 May 2024, 20:30

Magician David Copperfield accused of sexual misconduct by 16 women
Magician David Copperfield accused of sexual misconduct by 16 women. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle De Wolfe

Multiple women have come forward accusing renowned US magician David Copperfield of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour.

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A total of 16 women have come forward tabling allegations against Copperfield - more than half of whom were teenagers at the time of the alleged incidents.

The accusations span several decades, with half of the women aged under 18 at the time - some even thought to be as young as 15.

Copperfield rose to became a household name across the US in the late 80s, even described by Forbes as the most "commercially successful magician in history".

Over the course of his career, Mr Copperfield has won 21 Emmy Awards and holds 11 Guinness World Records for his achievements as a magician, receiving a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 2013.

In response to the claims, Copperfield’s lawyers have labelled the allegations "not only completely false but also entirely implausible".

A total of 16 women have come forward tabling accusations against Copperfield, a magician who rubbed shoulders with celebrities and royals, including Claudia Schiffer and Princess Diana.
A total of 16 women have come forward tabling accusations against Copperfield, a magician who rubbed shoulders with celebrities and royals, including Claudia Schiffer and Princess Diana. Picture: Alamy

It's during these shows that a number of the accusers say they first made contact with Copperfield

Unearthed following a US Guardian investigation, the alleged incidents took place between the late 1980s and 2014, with statements taken from more than a hundred women, the news outlet says.

Among those alleging misconduct, three women say the star drugged them before having sexual relations with them, leaving them unable to properly consent to the acts.

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Copperfield has, in the past, faced scrutiny over his unrelated association with indicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

His lawyers told the Guardian that the illusionist has “never acted inappropriately with anyone, let alone anyone underage”.

Claiming the star had been an advocate for the #MeToo movement and actively encouraged women to come forward with claims of abuse, the lawyers highlighted that several allegations had been made against the star and disproved in the past.

A total of 16 women have come forward tabling accusations against Copperfield, a magician who rubbed shoulders with celebrities and royals, including Claudia Schiffer and Princess Diana.
A total of 16 women have come forward tabling accusations against Copperfield, a magician who rubbed shoulders with celebrities and royals, including Claudia Schiffer and Princess Diana. Picture: Alamy

His legal team added that a “truthful” depiction of Copperfield would instead describe the star's “kindness, shyness and treatment of men and women with respect”.

Allegations of misconduct have surfaced in the past, with one of the sixteen women to have come forward noting, Brittney Lewis, speaking out in 2018.

She claims Copperfield drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1988, when she was a 17-year-old model - claims the magician continues to deny.

The experiences of a number of other alleged victims echoed this trend, noting the use of drugs where their experiences were concerned.

Another women, who remains anonymous, alleges that she and a friend were drugged by Copperfield and unable to consent before he had sex with each of them.

“I … would never just say this to somebody if I didn’t truly, honest to God believe that I was drugged at that time,” she said, claiming to have met Copperfield for a drink in 1993, after one of his shows.

A total of 16 women have come forward tabling accusations against Copperfield, a magician who rubbed shoulders with celebrities and royals, including Claudia Schiffer and Princess Diana.
A total of 16 women have come forward tabling accusations against Copperfield, a magician who rubbed shoulders with celebrities and royals, including Claudia Schiffer and Princess Diana. Picture: Alamy

Lawyers for Copperfield denied Gillian’s allegations and said no such claims or complaints had been made against him at the time.

His lawyers also stated that drugs are “not a part of his world”.

A representative for Copperfield has said: “Everyone that knows David Copperfield will tell you that these recent allegations from one newspaper are the exact opposite of who David is. 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.”

Copperfield has been idolised by many accross the US throughout his career, with hoards of young fans attending sold out shows across the US.

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