World famous illusionist David Copperfield's secrets exposed in long-running legal battle
Published 05/06/2016 | 17:55
A magician should never reveal too much but the secrets of world famous illusionist David Copperfield’s show have been exposed in a long-running legal battle.
The Mail on Sunday reports how London-born chef Gavin Cox is suing the world’s most famous magician, claiming he was left with permanent brain damage as a result of an illusion that went wrong at his Las Vegas show.
Mr Cox, 55, was called on stage by Copperfield at the MGM Hotel and Casino to take part in a disappearing audience illusion in November 2013, only to fall backstage mid-way through the trick.
Now the details of the famous ‘vanishing crowd’ trick have been revealed in extraordinary detail, court documents in the three-year legal battle show.
Here’s how the illusion works - David Copperfield and the Disappearing Audience:
1. David Copperfield throws 13 inflatable balls into the audience. Members of the public who catch one are called onstage
2. The 13 participants are suspended in a cage and given torches to shine back at the audience
3. The volunteers are then taken through a secret passage and outside the theatre, with Copperfield lifting the cover to reveal they are gone
4. They then ‘reappear’ at the back of the stage still holding the torches they were given by Copperfield - to the surprise of the audience.
“It was like a fire alarm went off,” he told The Mail on Sunday. “They were saying ‘Hurry! Run, run run’.
“It was total pandemonium. You don’t know where you are going. It’s dark. There are hands pushing you on your back.
“As I went around a corner, my feet slipped from underneath me and I hit the ground.”
He added that Mr Copperfield met them in a room after the show asking them not to reveal his stage secrets.
Mr Cox and his wife are seeking punitive damage from Copperfield and MGM, however both deny the claims, saying the injuries were caused by “pre-existing and/or other related medical conditions”.
He also claims the magician “failed to prevent, inspect, maintain and warn of dangerous conditions” and said Mr Copperfield and the hotel failed to “devise a trick that would be safe for audience participants”.
A lawyer for the magician told the newspaper: “The illusion has been performed for more than 15 years and with more than 100,000 participants.
“The history of the show speaks for itself. We deny all allegations. Unfortunately we cannot comment further due to ongoing litigation.”
Content management consultant Deane Barker explains on his blog how he was also called onstage for the same illusion but was “sworn to secrecy about what actually happened”.
Fans of Dynamo were previously left disappointed that the magician can’t really fly after his Shard stunt was 'exposed'.