David Copperfield has penned a lengthy letter explaining the lasting impact of “false accusations” made against him amid new claims that he drugged and sexually assaulted a teenage model in 1988.
The 61-year-old magician and illusionist hit headlines on Wednesday (24Jan17) when The Wrap published an account from model Brittney Lewis, who claims she was competing in a modeling contest, for which Copperfield was one of the judges, when he invited her to one of his shows in California. Lewis alleges Copperfield asked her grandmother, Patricia Burton, for her permission to allow her granddaughter, then just 17, to travel there.
Following the show, Lewis claims she saw Copperfield pour something into her drink, but when she confronted him about it, he said that he was “just sharing”. After taking a few sips of the drink, Lewis alleges that she blacked out.
“I remember my clothes being taken off,” she recounted. “He was kissing my face and then I remember him starting to go down my body with his face, and then, as soon as he started going down, I just completely blacked out.”
When she woke the next morning, Copperfield allegedly told her that “nothing happened” as she “was underage”. He is also said to have made her write a letter saying she was fine following the reported incident.
While Copperfield has yet to directly comment on Lewis’ allegations, he posted a letter to his Twitter page in which he pledged his support for the #MeToo movement, formed in the wake of the sexual assault scandal sweeping Hollywood, but urged people to think before making false accusations against anyone.
“We all want people who feel they’ve been victims of sexual misconduct to be empowered, and as a rule we should listen, so more will feel comfortable coming forward. It’s important,” he wrote. “But imagine what it’s like, believing in the movement, and having also been falsely accused publicly in the past.”
Copperfield was previously accused of sexual assault in 2007, but the case was dropped.
“To have your life and your family’s life turned upside down. Three years and hundreds of stories reported on a false claim investigated by the FBI, where the end result was the accuser was caught by law enforcement making the same false claim about another man,” he continued. “The proof was on tape. The accuser was arrested and charged.”
Copperfield concluded his message, posted also on his Instagram account, by writing: “So while I weather another storm, I want the movement to continue to flourish. Always listen, and consider everything carefully, but please for everyone’s sake, don’t rush to judgment.”
– Cover Media0