Magician David Copperfield defends #MeToo movement, and defends himself against sex assault claim

Photo by Marc Grimwade/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Illusionist David Copperfield has issued a statement in support of the “crucial and long overdue” #MeToo movement, but also warns of “false accusers” — just as a once-aspiring model leveled a decades old sex assault claim against him.

According to The Wrap, Brittany Lewis says she met the magician in 1988, when she was 17, and 32-year-old Copperfield was judging a modeling contest in which she participated. He invited her to a show in California, Lewis claims, and afterward allegedly poured something into her drink at a bar that caused her to black out. She claims she came to in her hotel room while the star was allegedly performing a sex act on her.

The website claims Lewis told the story to family members and friends over the years, and also told the FBI in 2007, as they investigated a separate sexual assault claim against Copperfield.  Some of the details in that case were reminiscent of Lewis’ alleged encounter.  The later investigation of Copperfield was closed without charges in 2009.

Lewis told The Wrap she doesn’t intend to file a criminal or civil suit against Copperfield.  The Wrap also cites a “legal expert” as saying the statue of limitations for doing so has expired.

Without naming his accusers, Copperfield’s statement notes, “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. Three years and hundreds of stories reported on a false claim investigated by the FBI, where the end result was that the accuser was caught by law enforcement making the same false claim about another man. The proof was on tape. The accuser was arrested and charged.”

A representative for Copperfield had no comment other than the illusionist’s own lengthy statement, which was posted to social media.

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