Magician Copperfield denies rape claim

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The Independent US

Magician David Copperfield has denied allegations that he raped an American woman in the Bahamas, where he owns four islands.

US newspapers yesterday reported that a Seattle woman has complained to the city's police that she was assaulted by Copperfield. The entertainer's lawyer, David Chesnoff, was reported as saying: "The allegation is 100 per cent false, and we deny it in the strongest possible terms. Unfortunately, false allegations are all too often made against famous individuals."

The claims explain a raid on Wednesday by 12 FBI agents on Copperfield's Las Vegas warehouse. Known as the International Museum & Library of the Conjuring Arts, this is where he stores tricks and memorabilia from around the world, and also maintains an apartment. A computer hard-drive and a memory chip from a digital camera were reportedly taken away.

The FBI refused to confirm the reason for their investigation. It is understood the woman made no complaint while in the Bahamas, and did so only when she returned to Seattle. The FBI are involved because the alleged crime occurred outside the US.

David Copperfield is one of the world's richest entertainers. His property in the Bahamas is a resort called Musha Cay which consists of four islands, and is said to be worth $50m.

Copperfield, 51, has been a long-time performer at the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand casino-hotel on the Las Vegas strip, where he performs in six to eight-week stints several times a year.