David Copperfield is speaking out on the #MeToo movement as he faces new sexual assault allegations.
The 61-year-old illusionist took to social media on Wednesday to praise #MeToo, a social movement fighting back against sexual assault and misconduct stemming from the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal, as "crucial and long overdue," but he also cautioned against false accusations of sexual assault, recalling a 2007 allegation against him and alluding to a new one.
"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 began his Twitter and Instagram statement. "But imagine what it's like, believing in the movement, and having also been falsely accused publicly in the past."
Copperfield then went on to detail what it was like to go through an allegation ordeal.
"To have your life and your family's life turned upside down. Three years and hundreds of stories reported on a false claim investigated by the FBI, where the end result was the accuser was caught by law enforcement making the same false claim about another man," he wrote. "The proof was on tape. The accuser was arrested and charged."
"I've lived with years of news reports about me being accused of fabricated, heinous acts, with few telling the story of the accuser getting arrested, and my innocence," he continued. "Knowing that false accusers can negatively impact the believability of others and are a true disservice to those who have been victims of sexual misconduct, I didn't draw attention to it."
In 2007, Copperfield was publicly accused of having lured a former beauty pageant model to his private island in the Bahamas and sexually assaulting her. The FBI investigated the claim for two years but ultimately dropped the case. His accuser, Lacey L. Carroll, was later charged in connection with an unrelated accusation against another man and ultimately pleaded guilty to obstruction. She briefly filed a civil suit against Copperfield, but dropped it a month later, People reported at the time.
"So while I weather another storm, I want the movement to continue to flourish," he concluded. "Always listen, and consider everything carefully, but please for everyone's sake, don't rush to judgment."
"Another storm" likely referred to a new allegation against him that came to light on Wednesday from an ex-model who told The Wrap that he had sexually assaulted her in 1988 when she was 17 years old. Copperfield has not released an additional statement directly addressing the latest allegation.
A rep for Copperfield had no comment.
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