Copperfield: ‘Don’t rush to judgment’
A FORMER teenage model has accused magician David Copperfield of rape - saying he drugged her up and then sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
The woman described the alleged incident in an interview with The Wrap, which was published on Wednesday just hours after Copperfield issued a statement on Twitter about the #MeToo movement and being "falsely accused" in the past, reports the New York Post.
"I remember my clothes being taken off," recalled Brittney Lewis, now in her 40s.
"He was kissing my face and then I remember him starting to go down on my body with his face," she said. "And then, as soon as he started going down, I just completely blacked out."
The two met in Atami, Japan, in September 1988, according to Lewis, while Copperfield was working as a judge for a modelling contest that she was competing in.
They exchanged numbers and Copperfield allegedly agreed to fly her out to California for one of his shows. Since Lewis was a minor, she claims Copperfield - then 32 - asked her grandmother for permission to go.
"He said, 'Don't worry, I'll take care of her,'" the grandmother, Patricia Burton, told The Wrap. "I believed him. He was very charming."
After Lewis flew in from Utah, she said Copperfield arranged for her to stay at a hotel with him in adjoining rooms. They allegedly met up after his show and got drinks at a local bar.
Once there, Lewis claims she saw Copperfield slipping some sort of drug into her drink - which later caused her to black out at his hotel room.
"I asked, 'What are you doing?' and he said, 'Oh, I'm just sharing,'" she remembered.
While the rest of the night remains hazy, Lewis said there are several things that stand out - including Copperfield's bad breath and shady attitude the next morning.
"He wanted to me know that nothing happened because I was underage," she recalled. "He said: 'I didn't enter you.'"
Lewis added, "There was no fluid but he could have had a condom."
If that wasn't enough, the magician allegedly forced the teen to write and sign a letter - saying she was OK, despite what occurred.
"My therapist later told me that he made me write a contract to keep me quiet," Lewis said.
The former aspiring model claims to have come forward in the past - during Copperfield's sex assault investigation in 2007 - but says her cries fell on deaf ears.
She told The Wrap that she gave an official statement to the FBI, and never heard back from them.
A spokesman from the bureau reportedly declined to comment when asked about Lewis' claims.
Copperfield did not respond to The Wrap's requests for comments on Tuesday.
Due to the statute of limitations, Lewis is unable to file criminal charges against him.
She told the site that even if she were able to, she wouldn't - and she's not interested in filing a civil suit, either.
Copperfield, now 61, appeared to hint that Lewis was getting ready to come forward in his Twitter statement on Wednesday.
I love sharing the treasures from my museum of Magic. I feel a great responsibility in preserving the history of my Art to help make the work of past Masters last forever. Every Wednesday I will share with you one object from my museum ! Please tell us in comments what you would like to see from Houdin, Melies, Houdini, Kellar to Thurston... send us your requests! #WednesdayWonders picture by @forbes
"I've lived with years of news reports about me being accused of fabricated, heinous acts, with few telling the story of the accuser getting arrested, and my innocence," he said, referencing the accusations made by former beauty queen Lacey Carroll in 2007.
"So while I weather another storm, I want the [#MeToo] movement to continue to flourish."
The world-famous illusionist added that while he believes the movement is "crucial and long overdue," it's important to not "rush to judgment".
"Always listen, and consider everything carefully," he said.
Copperfield was probed by the FBI for two years after Carroll - who was Miss Washington USA at the time - came forward and claimed that he raped her at his home in the Bahamas.
The case was eventually closed, though, and Carroll was later charged with prostitution and making false sexual assault accusations.
"I was the victim," Copperfield told Oprah Winfrey in 2012.
"To be falsely accused of something horrendous is devastating for yourself, your friends, your family, really bad," he said. "I'm working on forgiveness."
This story was originally published in the New York Post and is reprinted with permission.