David Copperfield Forced To Reveal Illusion

If you ever wondered how a magician's disappearing act works, we finally have the answer - at least in the case of David Copperfield. Copperfield is being sued for negligence by Gavin Cox, who says he was injured after he fell during a stunt at a 2013 Las Vegas show.

The illusion in question? "The Lucky 13" - where he makes a group of 13 audience members disappear...and of course, later reappear in the audience for the finale. In this case, Cox says he was severely injured and now, Copperfield’s lawyers have lost their motion to close proceedings so the secret can be kept. As executive producer Chris Kenner explained to jurors, stagehands with flashlights guide the participants through passageways, and even through an MGM Grand resort kitchen.

While Cox’s attorney suggested the route is an "obstacle course,” it's worth noting that about 55-thousand people have participated in this stunt over the 20 years Copperfield's performed it - and this was the first issue. Still, Cox claims he’s suffered lasting brain and bodily injuries from his fall - including medical bills totaling $400,000. Copperfield is expected to take the stand today.

David Copperfield performed the same illusion several years ago at the Adler Theatre in Davenport and I was one of the audience members up on the stage. After the illusion was over, I remember thinking how genius it was because, frankly, it was really simple! The best part was holding the secret over my wife's head all these years. She'd say, "C'mon...tell me how that was done." I'd say, "You really want to know? It's...MAGIC..." Not anymore. Sad. Here's the illusion in action...

Mark Manuel

Mark Manuel

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