David Copperfield Magic Trick Revealed During Case Over Audience Participant's Alleged Injury

A negligence lawsuit against David Copperfield is taking the mystery out of one of the Emmy-winning magician's more famous routines

A negligence lawsuit against David Copperfield is taking the mystery out of one of the Emmy-winning magician’s more famous routines.

In a Las Vegas, Nevada, courtroom on Tuesday, the 61-year-old’s executive producer Chris Kenner walked jurors through a trick performed during Copperfield’s 2013 MGM Grand Hotel show that a British man claims left him with both body and brain injuries, reported the Associated Press.

The man, Gavin Cox, was among the audience members asked to participate in the illusion — called “Lucky #13” — on Nov. 12, 2013, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

During the illusion, Copperfield seemed to make the participants disappear from the stage and reappear at the back of the audience, the Review-Journal said.

David Copperfield Lawsuit, Las Vegas, USA - 17 Apr 2018
John Locher/AP/Shutterstock

In reality, the participants were led through back passageways in the hotel and even through the resort kitchen at an allegedly quick speed, so they could pop up and surprise show attendees during what was the finale, Kenner testified, according to the AP.

According to NBC News, it was during the trek through those back areas that Cox fell. Cox’s attorney Benedict Morelli claimed that the route was dark, and, in parts, under construction as the hotel underwent a renovation. Further, Morelli claimed that Cox was not informed of the risks before participating in the trick, NBC News reported.

Cox claims that as a result of the slip, he suffered from chronic pain, among other ailments. He also said scans later showed a lesion on his brain, reported the Review-Journal.

The MGM Grand’s attorney Jerry Popovich testified that Copperfield had walked the same route 10 minutes before Cox, and did not report any hazards. Copperfield and producers claim that Cox’s fall was not related to the show.

Cox is suing both Copperfield and his production team at the MGM Grand for negligence, and seeking unspecified damages, the AP reported. Popovich told PEOPLE in a statement, “ During the trial MGM Grand Hotel will not comment on the evidence or how the trial is proceeding, other than to say that it trusts that the trial process will provide justice.”

Copperfield is scheduled to testify on Wednesday.

Back in 2008, one of Copperfield’s employees was hospitalized when a trick went awry onstage at the MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theatre.

PEOPLE reported at the time that the employee was assisting Copperfield during the “fan illusion” — during which the magician appears to walk through a fan and disappear as he turns to smoke — and got his arm caught in the fan.

At the time, Kenner told PEOPLE, “This is a trick David has done over 3,000 times. This was a freak accident.”

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