Copperfield Copes With Probe, Sex Claims

Magician David Copperfield, 9-27-06 AP

A lawyer for David Copperfield says the magician is handling allegations of sexual misconduct as best as can be expected.

"He's a very smart man. He's a very open-minded person," Chesnoff told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith Tuesday. "Obviously, he's a creative genius and he's dealing with this in the best way I've seen anybody deal in this circumstance."

Last week, FBI agents searched a warehouse belonging to Copperfield and a casino hotel in Las Vegas, where the magician regularly performs, following an allegation that he "forced himself" on an unidentified woman.

Photos: That Old Black Magic
Details about the allegations against the magician have not been revealed but Chesnoff insists that "David Copperfield has never forced himself on anyone."

Although Copperfield canceled his upcoming shows in southeast Asia, Chesnoff said the cancellation had nothing to do with the investigation.

"If there hadn't been an investigation he would have canceled them because correspondence from the promoters in Asia indicated that they were in default on the contract," he said. "He was canceling that trip whether there was an investigation or not. It has nothing to do with the investigation whatsoever. It is purely a coincidence."

Copperfield had been scheduled to perform in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in coming weeks.

Promoters of some of the Asian shows are trying to negotiate with Copperfield's management to reschedule the performances or recoup some of the losses incurred from the cancellations.

"We are told by Copperfield management that David's show had been canceled by the artist," said Peter Basuki, whose company was organizing the Jakarta show. He said they would like to file a complaint with Copperfield management, but did not elaborate.

"They said they would like to find any other available time to perform in Jakarta," Basuki said. "With this cancellation, we have lost more than US$1 million for advertising and other preparations. Business is business. We want to make a profit. But this is making us lose money."

Chesnoff said he believes that Copperfield's situation is just part of being famous.

"It happens to celebrated people far too often in our society that they become targets," he said.
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