David Copperfield the illusionist is wishing he could make the charges against him disappear. The magician who somehow convinced supermodel Claudia Schiffer to marry him may have pushed his luck to far, or had his ruffies wear off early…
The woman told Seattle police the magician raped her while she was in the Bahamas, sources said. Because the alleged incident happened abroad and the woman did not report it until she returned to the United States, Seattle authorities turned over the case to the FBI.
On Thursday, FBI officials raided a Las Vegas warehouse used by Copperfield. Seattle FBI agent Robbie Burroughs said Thursday the case was related to one in Washington.
“The investigation is related to a Seattle case. The Seattle case is pending and that means we can’t say anything about it,” Burroughs said.
Copperfield has been contacted by law enforcement authorities and the FBI has conducted an investigation in Las Vegas, where the magician regularly performs, his lawyer and the FBI confirmed.
Copperfield’s Las Vegas attorney, David Chesnoff, refused to give specifics about the charge. “If in fact those are the allegations, unfortunately false allegations are all too often made against famous individuals,” Chesnoff said. “But we are confident the investigation will conclude favorably.”
He continued: “We are in touch with the investigators and are respecting the confidentiality of the investigation.”
Copperfield has a warehouse in Las Vegas that he has dubbed the International Museum & Library of the Conjuring Arts. He apparently stores tricks and memorabilia from around the world at the warehouse.
“I can confirm that there’s investigative activity at the warehouse,” FBI special agent David Staretz, spokesman for the Las Vegas office, said. Staretz would not elaborate.
KLAS-TV reported that an FBI raid with 12 agents took place Wednesday at Copperfield’s warehouse.
Copperfield, 51, has been a longtime performer at the Hollywood Theater at the MGM Grand casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where he has performed in six- to eight-week stints several times a year, said MGM Mirage Inc. spokeswoman Yvette Monet.
Monet said Copperfield performed two shows Wednesday night, which were at the end of his most recent run. Monet said Copperfield next was scheduled to perform in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Copperfield purchased a private island from Mr. Melk, whose other ventures have included a stake in Chicago’s River East development and the cosmetics company H2O Plus and a $50-million investment in Miami’s Fisher Island, bought Musha Cay for $2.3 million in August 1995. According to court filings, he invested more than $55 million over five years developing a luxe resort.
It accommodates no more than 24 guests at a time. Before arriving, each guest fills out a questionnaire indicating preferences in caviar, wine and whiskey, among other items. Fresh shrimp is delivered every few hours and each guest uses a golf cart personalized with his or her name.
“It’s something out of a storybook,” gushes Mr. Melk’s friend Wayne Huizenga, founder of Waste Management and Blockbuster, and now the owner of the Miami Dolphins football team.
Mr. Melk decided to sell his Shangri-La in September 2002 and retained auction house Sotheby’s to find a buyer. Mr. Copperfield subsequently expressed interest. But that’s where the parties’ accounts begin to diverge.
In his court filings, Mr. Melk says he declined to sell to Mr. Copperfield, citing his “lack of experience” in running resorts, “rumors concerning his personal lifestyle” and “alleged ties with the Russian mafia.” Mr. Copperfield’s lawyer, Bruce Laxalt of Reno-based Laxalt & Nomura Ltd., calls those rumors “bunk.”
Copperfield who is an impish looking creepy looking guy, more the sort you would expect to see behind the counter of an adult movie store than dating a supermodel.
One blogger has some interesting theories about how this dating was accomplished – assuming it was a magic trick:
This was one of the most effective feats of illusion ever attempted by David Copperfield, and it success is seen in the fact that so many people are still unaware that it was an illusion.
Although Copperfield is particularly secretive about the effect, knowledgeable individuals have pointed out that during the period encompassing the supposed relationship, when Copperfield and Schiffer were seen together, they were never far apart. This lends credence to the speculation that some kind of inflatable puppet was in use.
Other suggested explanations include:
* A Stepford-type situation
* There really was a relationship with Schiffer, but blackmail and/or voodoo was involved.