Report: Magician Copperfield under investigation for rape

A federal grand jury is investigating allegations that magician David Copperfield raped and threatened a Washington state woman at his estate in the Bahamas, a newspaper reported.

The Seattle Times reported on Saturday that at least three federal law-enforcement officials, whom the paper did not identify, confirmed the grand jury investigation. No indictment or criminal charges have been filed.

The woman told law enforcement that she and her family were approached by a member of Copperfield’s entourage at a January 25 performance in the Tri-Cities area of Eastern Washington state, the Times said. They were given special seats, and Copperfield selected the woman to come on stage as part of his act, the sources told the Times.

The 21-year-old woman said Copperfield later said he could help with her modelling career and invited her to his estate in the Bahamas.

The woman said she made the trip in late July, and found she was the only guest on the secluded island with Copperfield.
She told Seattle police, and later the FBI, that Copperfield raped and struck her, and threatened her when she left after two days, sources familiar with her allegations told the Times.

Copperfield’s attorney, David Chesnoff of Las Vegas, repeated on Saturday that Copperfield “has never forced himself on anyone”. He said grand jury investigations are supposed to be secret.

“We’ve been asked to respect the confidentiality of the investigation, and apparently law-enforcement officials have violated the confidentiality, which undermines the integrity of the entire investigation,” Chesnoff said.

Emily Langlie, a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office, said on Saturday that the office would have “absolutely no comment”.

“We do not confirm or deny that there is an investigation under way by our office,” she said.

On October 17, FBI agents searched Copperfield’s warehouse and a casino hotel in Las Vegas, where the magician regularly performs.

The FBI has said only that the Las Vegas investigation was part of a Seattle case.—Sapa-AP

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