The Untold Truth Of David Copperfield

World-famous magician David Copperfield was born David Seth Kotkin. A native of Metuchen, New Jersey, David began performing self-taught magic tricks for his friends and family as a young child. By the age of 10, he started taking his hobby very seriously, and began calling himself "Davino the Boy Magician."

As reported by Totally History, David applied to and was accepted into the Society of American Magicians when he was only 12 years old. Although he was described as "a bit shy and introverted," David used magic tricks to entertain and make connections with others.

Performing magic tricks was not David Kotkin's only talent. He was also a gifted actor, dancer, and singer. When he was 18 years old, David was cast as the lead in a Chicago musical titled, "The Music Man." Upon landing the role, he began using the stage name David Copperfield, which he got from the Charles Dickens novel of the same name.

Totally History reports David Copperfield made his television debut in 1977 when he was a guest on a special titled, "The Magic of ABC." The following year, he was offered his own series of television specials titled, "The Magic of David Copperfield."

Throughout his career, David Copperfield has earned 21 Emmy awards and was the first magician to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As reported by Jon Finch, Copperfield's net worth is estimated to be $1.2 billion, making him the wealthiest, and highest paid, magician in the world.

David Copperfield holds 11 Guinness World Records

According to Forbes, David Copperfield currently holds 11 Guinness World Records, including the most tickets sold worldwide by a solo entertainer, the highest earnings for a magician for the current year, the most expensive poster depicting magic sold at auction, the largest magic work archive, the highest career earnings as a magician, the largest illusion ever staged, and the most magic shows performed in a year.

As reported by Guinness World Records, Copperfield was awarded the record for most tickets sold worldwide by a solo entertainer in 2004 after selling approximately 39,690,000 show tickets between 1984 and 2004. The same year he was awarded the record for the highest career earnings as a magician, as he earned a net sum of $661.5 million between 1984 and 2004.

In May 2000, David Copperfield became the owner of the most expensive poster depicting magic sold at auction with his purchase of a $55,000 1914 lithograph, depicting Harry Houdini's Water Torture Cell escape.

Guinness World Records reports David Copperfield was awarded with the record for the most magic shows performed in a year in 1994 when he performed 642 shows in seven countries. However, he was not awarded with the record for the highest annual earnings within a year until 2018, for earning $62 million between July 2017 and July 2018.

In 1983, Copperfield was awarded for the largest illusion ever staged, for his vanishing Statue of Liberty illusion, which he performed on a CBS television special.

David Copperfield owns the largest magic work archive in the world

In 2004, David Copperfield was awarded  the Guinness World Record for owning the largest magic work archive in the world. The collection, which included an estimated 61,673 items (in 2004), is housed in Copperfield's International Museum and Library of Conjuring Arts.

As reported by Forbes, David Copperfield owns half of Harry Houdini's personal library and the largest collection of Houdini's other memorabilia — including the only known recording of the legendary magician's voice. Copperfield also owns Harry Houdini's Mirror Cuff Escape Award, which he received from London's Daily Mirror in 1904, one of Houdini's straight jackets, the famous Iron Maiden Challenge device, several pairs of Houdini's handcuffs, and one of his lock-pick sets.

David Copperfield's magic work archive also includes an antique levitation device, which was built by an unknown French artist, an intricate monkey automaton, which was created by Phalabois, and several complex automatons and mystery clocks created by Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin.

Forbes reports David Copperfield also owns Dante The Magician's device that he used to create the illusion that women were being sawed in half.

Copperfield's collection also includes ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy puppet, which starred in the Chase and Sanborn Hour program from the 1930s to the 1950s, two of the original Howdy Doody marionettes, and four of Paul Winchell's puppets — including Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff.

David Copperfield's collection also includes nearly 62,000 items used throughout his own career.

David Copperfield claims he found the Fountain of Youth on his private island

In 2006, David Copperfield purchased Musha Cay island, in the southern Bahamas, for $50 million. As reported by Luxatic, Copperfield spent an additional $40 million to renovate the existing structures, build several homes, and add recreational facilities. Once the initial renovation was complete, Copperfield purchased 10 other islands surrounding Musha Cay.

According to Venue Report, Copperfield Bay has several resorts, which can be rented for weddings, corporate events, wellness retreats, and other celebrations. In addition to accommodations and catering services, the island has "tropical paths" for jogging, hiking, and walking, a freeform swimming pool, and more decadent perks.

However, one thing remains off-limits to David Copperfield's guests: The Fountain of Youth. As reported by Today, Copperfield discussed his discovery of the mythical spring during a 2006 interview with Reuters.

During the phone interview, Copperfield said, "I've discovered a true phenomenon. "You can take dead leaves, they come in contact with the water, they become full of life again. ... Bugs or insects that are near death, come in contact with the water, they'll fly away. It's an amazing thing, very, very exciting."

During the interview, Copperfield said he hired biologists and geologists to study the properties of the spring. However, he never revealed their findings.

David Copperfield was forced to reveal the secret of one of his illusions after being sued

In 2013, Gavin Cox, a British citizen, traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, to celebrate his birthday. During the trip, Gavin attended David Copperfield's show at the MGM Grand, where he was randomly selected to participate in one of the illusions — which involved the disappearance and reappearance of 13 audience members.

As reported by Independent, the audience participants did not actually vanish. Instead, they were led backstage, through a series of "secret passageways," to another location — where they were expected to remain until they would reappear during the show's finale.

Gavin Cox's attorneys said the audience participants were forced to run through the dark passages, which were littered with "construction dust." Gavin said the dangerous conditions contributed to a fall, which left him with a traumatic brain injury and more than $400,000 in medical bills.

NPR reports Gavin Cox said he "was having a good time" until he fell. Although he remembers "he fell hard on his right side," he does not remember getting up off the floor or completing the illusion. 

As reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal, three other women, who participated in the vanish audience member illusion, testified that they also suffered injuries in the dark passageways. 

A jury ultimately determined David Copperfield was not liable for Gavin Cox's injuries. However, the magician was dismayed that so many details about the "Lucky #13" illusion were revealed during the trial.

Two women accused David Copperfield of sexual assault

In 2007, Lacey L. Carroll accused David Copperfield of sexually assaulting her while she was a guest on his private island. As reported by ABC News, Carroll said Copperfield invited her to his island when she met him at one of his shows. 

ABC News reports Carroll's accusation came into question when she accused another man of sexually assaulting her in 2009, and surveillance footage revealed she lied about the details of her interactions with the man.

In 2018, Brittney Lewis said David Copperfield sexually assaulted her in 1988 when she was 17 years old. As reported by People, Lewis said the assault happened after one of Copperfield's shows.

In her interview with People, Lewis said she "saw Copperfield pour something into her drink while the two were at a bar." Although she questioned him about what he put in her drink, she reportedly "blacked out" after taking "a few sips."

Lewis told People she remembers her "clothes being taken off," and David Copperfield "kissing [her] face." However, she "completely blacked out," in the midst of the alleged assault.

The following morning, Lewis asked Copperfield what happened and he reportedly told her "nothing happened" because she "was underage." He then reportedly forced her to sign a statement saying she was "okay" before she left to return home.

David Copperfield was never charged or convicted in either case and has vehemently denied the allegations.