Magician David Copperfield forced to reveal the truth behind his magic trick in court, after negligence allegations
Gavin Cox, who worked as a chef for the British royal family, said his medical bills amounted to more than $400,000, adding that his facial injuries would haunt him forever.
Magician David Copperfield was forced to reveal the truth behind one of his magic tricks in court on Thursday. According to reports, the 61-year-old illusionist was asked to speak about his vanishing trick after he was sued for negligence by a British man who claimed to be injured while taking part in one of his shows at the MGM Grand Hotel in 2013.
The magician's executive producer, Chris Kenner, took the stand Tuesday, April 17th in Las Vegas and revealed how the trick, otherwise known as "Lucky #13" is performed. Kenner said the trick would begin with Copperfield choosing 13 audience members and making them sit on the stage on a platform, Page Six reported.
"We’re going to send you all to hell. This is like going on vacation, only hotter, with more familiar faces," Copperfield would tell them and cover the stage with curtains, banters and eventually make his chosen representatives disappear. Only moments later, he would point to the back of the room and tell the audience to turn around where they could see the 13 people who took part in the illusion.
In Keener's words, the act was performed with the help of stagehands, who guided the chosen representatives through the stage and through hidden passageways after the curtain had gone up. The participants are then led through MGM’s secret tunnels with the help of flashlights and eventually brought back into the theater through the back.
It was during the performance of this magic trick that Gavin Cox, claimed to have fallen in a passageway while he was being ushered by a stagehand. He suffered brain and body injuries and alleged that the hallways were filled with construction dust and other debris, which made it difficult to navigate.
Cox, who worked as a chef for the British royal family, said his medical bills amounted to more than $400,000, adding that his facial injuries would plague him for the rest of his life.
"There was a duty by the defendants to provide a safe environment to the audience participants," Cox's lawyer Benedict Morelli, said in opening statements last week. Morelli also grilled Copperfield in court and asked if the MGM passageway was safe.
"Do you agree that certain things during the route can be dangerous?" Morelli asked. In response, the magician said, "I don’t agree with that," Copperfield replied.
The lawyer also asked if Copperfield would take responsibility for an injury that might take place during the illusion. However, the magician said, "I can't answer that as a yes-or-no question. It would depend on what happened. If I did something wrong, it would be my fault."
When asked if construction dust could cause an injury, the magician responded, "I would agree with you, but there wasn’t construction dust in the way."