David Copperfield Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 16 Women in Guardian Investigation

Over half the accusers say they were under 18 at the time of the magician’s alleged assaults

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08: David Copperfield visits the Build Series to discuss his career and the HBO documentary “Liberty: Mother of Exiles” at Build Studio on October 08, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

A total of 16 women have accused David Copperfield of sexual misconduct, with over half the accusers saying they were under 18 at the time of the alleged incidents with the famed illusionist, according to an investigation by The Guardian published Wednesday.

Some of the claims say the now-67-year-old magician drugged and assaulted them. The allegations span from the late 1980s to 2014, The Guardian reported, and include former model Brittney Lewis, whose accusations were first reported by TheWrap in 2018.

When reached by the British paper, Copperfield denied any wrongdoing. His lawyers said he “never acted inappropriately with anyone, let alone anyone underage,” and added that he is a “champion of the #MeToo movement.” The lawyers also noted it wasn’t the first time that “false claims” have been raised against the magician.

Among the 16 accusers is Lewis, who came forward with allegations that Copperfield drugged and assaulted her when she was 17. Another woman told The Guardian of a similar experience, saying Copperfield drugged and assaulted both she and a friend after they agreed to meet with him for a post-show drink in 1993. Copperfield denied the allegations, telling The Guardian that “drugs were not part of his world,” and that he was not performing at the time of the allegations.

In a handful of other cases, women claimed Copperfield groped them or made them touch him suggestively during stage performances. One, who was 15 at the time, has family witnesses who say he touched her breasts; that case was investigated by Las Vegas Police and eventually dropped due to a lack of evidence.

Several women further told The Guardian that Copperfield promised help with their careers; one said she met the magician at a show in 1991, after which he began calling her regularly, sending her gifts and tickets before beginning a consensual relationship after she turned 18. His lawyers acknowledged the relationship, but said the illusionist “strongly denies any suggestion of grooming or any other impropriety.”

When reached for comment, a representative for Copperfield issued the following statement to TheWrap:

“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 U.S. 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.”

Emily Smith contributed to this report.


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