David Copperfield’s lawyer asks for mistrial in civil case due to media attention


Famed magician David Copperfield appeared on the stand for a second day of testimony in a civil trial.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, returned to questioning Copperfield about whether he had ever heard of any participant falling during the trick known as the “13 Illusion.”

RELATED | Copperfield returns to stand in British man injury lawsuit

Morelli asked Copperfield whether, during any of the times that the 13 Illusion had been performed, anyone had ever fallen and been injured.

“Not to my knowledge,” Copperfield said.

Plaintiff Gavin Cox -- then a British tourist visiting Las Vegas in 2013 -- claims he fell and was injured after being chosen from the audience to participate.

Morelli continued asking Copperfield if the participants ever fell during the act.

“Do you have records that you keep that someone fell, but they weren’t injured?” Morelli asked. “Do you keep records like that?

“It would depend,” Copperfield replied.

“Just answer the questions. Do you have records?” Morelli asked again.

Copperfield was also asked what he and his employees look for when they select an audience member.

“Seven times, we make an assessment,” said Copperfield. “Visually watching them interact with their footwear. It’s like seven different screening moments.”

Throughout the day, the plaintiff’s lawyer asked Copperfield questions about whether he and his staff urged participants to run during the act.

“Have you ever heard them yell 'Run?'” Morelli asked.

“I’m a magician, but I don’t have x-ray ears. Nope,” Copperfield answered.

Illusionist David Goldrake, who performs his show “IMAGINARIUM” at the Tropicana, says that audience participation is what makes these shows truly magical. Safety, Goldrake says, is on the top of every performer’s mind.

"You have to scan the spectator from top to bottom,” Goldrake said. “You have to gauge whether they are fit to come on stage or not."

Cameras were briefly kept out of the courtroom when Copperfield shared the secrets behind the 13 Illusion. According to Goldrake, the importance of keeping these secrets out of the public eye should not be underestimated.

"In my opinion, it is sad that it is reduced and trivialized, the secrets of the magicians," Goldrake said. "We do have secrets, as we all know, but secrets are tools."

And as Copperfield's testimony continues into next week, the jury still has yet to make a decision.

"I don't know if the decision will impact what we do," Goldrake said. "We are all already doing our best."

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