Illusionist Copperfield takes stand in tourist injury case

Magician David Copperfield waits to take the stand during his civil trial at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas Wednesday

But the magician didn't acknowledge responsibility for a British tourist's injury, and testified Wednesday he never even knew until he was sued a year later that the man claimed he was badly hurt while taking part in a signature Copperfield illusion.

The lawyer noted that before Cox fell, the group hustled through an alley coated with what Morelli called construction dust. When Cox and his wife returned to Britain after the November 2013 visit, he suffered from chronic pain, headaches and confusion, and a scan showed a lesion on his brain, his lawsuit against MGM Grand and the illusionist contends.

Search warrants released about a year later showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug.

Copperfield's court-ordered revelation of his "Lucky #13" illusion came in a civil trial over an audience member's slip and fall during a Las Vegas show in 2013.

Asked whether construction dust could cause an injury, the magician said: "I would agree with you, but there wasn't construction dust in the way".

Copperfield was questioned by Morelli in court after Kenner revealed the secrets of the trick to the court.

Copperfield's lawyers lost pretrial bids to close proceedings to the public to avoid disclosing performance secrets, although Judge Mark Denton has said some portions of Copperfield's testimony might still be conducted behind closed doors.

Copperfield is now in court facing a negligence lawsuit filed by an audience member after he claimed ongoing brain and body injuries caused by a fall during participation in one of the magicians illusions.

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"Is that accurate, yes or no?"

Copperfield said, "I can't answer that as a yes-or-no question".

At the time of the fall, parts of MGM Grand were under renovation, and a dumpster had been placed on the route volunteers used to leave the stage, Morelli said during opening statements last week. He said that he went through the alley alone when he was performing another illusion before and had not noticed any debris then.

But the judge ruled that thousands of people have already participated in the trick and already know its mechanics, which resulted in the show's producer Chris Kenner explaining the trick in court.

The participants are then led through MGM's secret tunnels with the help of flashlights and eventually brought back into the theater through the back.

They then make a dramatic reappearance during the finale.

He is due to return to the witness stand on Tuesday.

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