Famed illusionist, and Las Vegas headliner, David Copperfield is facing a 30-year-old claim that he drugged and sexually assaulted an aspiring model who was 17-years-old at the time.
In a seemingly preemptive statement, Copperfield, a frequent performer at the MGM Grand, urged the public to withhold judgment until more facts are known.
According to online entertainment magazine The Wrap, Brittney Lewis claims the two met in 1988 after she competed in a modeling contest in which Copperfield was a judge.
Lewis said Copperfield, who was 32 at the time, invited her to a show in California and later poured something into her drink in a bar. Lewis said she blacked out, but remembers Copperfield removing her clothing and sexually assaulting her in a hotel room.
“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,” Lewis told The Wrap.
The entertainment site reports Lewis’ story is supported by her grandmother (who was the model’s guardian at the time of the alleged assault in 1988), a friend from high school, her husband and ex-husband. Lewis said she reported the story to the FBI in 2007.
Copperfield has not commented on the allegations. However, Wednesday afternoon, before the story broke, the 61-year-old performer posted a long statement on Twitter. He called the #MeToo movement “crucial and long overdue.” Copperfield said victims of sexual assault should feel comfortable to come forward.
However, Copperfield also referenced an older case, in which a Washington State woman accused Copperfield of rape in 2007, but was arrested herself in 2010 and charged with prostitution and making a false claim of sexual assault against another man.
“Imagine what it’s like, believing in the movement, and having also been falsely accused publicly in the past. To have your life and your family’s life turned upside down.”
Copperfield also seemed to reference the current allegations, writing: “So while I weather another storm, I want the (Me Too) movement to continue to flourish. Always listen, and consider everything carefully, but please for everyone’s sake don’t rush to judgement.”