TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
Good Evening
EntertainmentCelebrities

David Copperfield responds to sexual assault allegations

David Copperfield at his Ride Of Fame induction

David Copperfield at his Ride Of Fame induction ceremony in New York on Sept. 11, 2015. Credit: Getty Images for Ride of Fame / Dave Kotinsky

David Copperfield has responded to allegations by a former teen model that the famed illusionist drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1988.

“The #MeToo movement is crucial and long overdue,” Copperfield, 61, posted on social media following accusations published in TheWrap.com on Wednesday. “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. But 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,” he wrote.

He went on to describe, without specifying a name, 2007 accuser Lacey Carroll, who after a 2 1⁄2 -year FBI investigation that closed without charges was herself arrested for prostitution and making false sexual-assault accusations against a different individual. In August 2010, she pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer. Earlier that year she had dropped a civil lawsuit against Copperfield.

In the new instance, Brittney Lewis told TheWrap.com that after she and Copperfield met in 1988 during an Elite Model Management competition at which he was a judge, he contacted her at her home in Utah and invited her to be his guest at one of his upcoming performances. Still a minor at 17, she obtained her grandmother’s permission to accompany the magician to California, maintaining separate hotel rooms.

Lewis said they eventually were at a bar where he poured something into her glass. Accepting his explanation that he was “just sharing,” she said, she took some sips, blacked out and now has hazy memories of being sexually assaulted. She cut the trip short and returned home. After the Lacey Carroll incident made news, Lewis said, she spent an hour with the FBI detailing her Copperfield encounter, but nothing came of it. The FBI did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

In his statement, Copperfield said, “I’ve lived with years of news reported about me being accused of fabricated, heinous acts, with few telling the story of the accuser getting arrested, and my innocence. Knowing that false accusers can negatively impact the believability of others and are a true disservice to those who have been victims of sexual misconduct, I didn’t draw attention to it. So while I weather another storm, I want the movement to continue to flourish.”

He concluded, “Always listen, and consider everything carefully, but please for everyone’s sake don’t rush to judgement.”

More Entertainment