On Wednesday, David Copperfield preemptively released a statement saying he supports the Me Too movement but cautioned against rushing to judgment about false allegations.
Shortly after, a new, decades-old sexual assault claim broke against the famed illusionist.
According to The Wrap, aspiring model Brittney Lewis, then 17, was drugged and sexually assaulted by Copperfield in 1988.
The alleged assault happened after she competed in a modeling contest in which Copperfield was a judge, The Wrap reports.
Copperfield, then 32, invited her to a show in California and later poured something into her drink in a bar. Lewis says she blacked out, but remembers him taking off her clothing and performing sexual acts on her in a hotel room.
Lewis’ story was corroborated by The Wrap with her grandmother, best friend from high school, husband and ex-husband. Lewis said she reported her claims to the FBI in 2007 and is not seeking a financial settlement.
A representative for Copperfield had no comment, but earlier Wednesday the 61-year-old illusionist posted a long statement to Twitter, calling the Me Too movement “crucial and long overdue. 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.”
He followed with a “but.”
“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, detailing the last time he was falsely accused, which ended up with the woman being arrested and charged in a separate incident that was strikingly similar to what she said happened to her with Copperfield.
Seemingly referencing new allegations about to surface in The Wrap, Copperfield made a plea with the public not to rush to judgment, saying, “while I weather another storm, I want the movement to continue to flourish.”