Copperfield and a newer model - Merily Jurna of Estonia
He made a train and the Statue of Liberty disappear. For his next feat, David


David Copperfield Seeks to Make Lacey Carroll's Rape-Related Lawsuit Disappear

Copperfield and a newer model - Merily Jurna of Estonia
He made a train and the Statue of Liberty disappear. For his next feat, David Copperfield is attempting to make a lawsuit vanish in the midst of a Seattle courtroom.

Having already scored a recent legal victory in the suit brought by a Kirkland woman who alleges Copperfield raped her in 2007 at his private Caribbean island, the world-famed illusionist has asked a federal judge to dismiss the woman's claim altogether.

Attorneys for Copperfield, 53, (born David Kotkin), say waitress, model and former Miss Washington USA contestant Lacey Carroll, 23, has not stated a viable claim for relief and cannot do so because she is unable to show that the basis for the lawsuit - that he "lured" her to the island - is in fact true.

"Carroll's claim is insufficiently pled," Copperfield says in U.S. District Court documents, "failing to allege the necessary factual basis for several essential elements, including a causal relationship between the alleged misrepresentation and injury, and adequate damages."

Carroll could seek to amend the complaint, he says, to remedy its arguable deficiencies. "But amendment would be futile because the alleged misrepresentations underlying her claim - that her trip to Copperfield's island would involve promotional or modeling activities, that others would be on the island at the same time, and that she would be able to contact her family during the trip - cannot be the bases [sic] for a fraud claim because they are not statements of existing fact."

Carroll, who herself is facing court allegations of prostitution filed by King County prosecutors, has not yet responded to Copperfield's latest move in the 2009 lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages. The suit had been put in limbo earlier while the FBI investigated allegations against Copperfield. The agency this year announced no criminal charges would be filed. Last month a federal judge reinstated Carroll's suit but also granted Copperfield's request to prevent Carroll from obtaining any evidence that had been gathered by the FBI. That created a presumably difficult task ahead for Carroll, who must now request such evidence through the laborious pre-trial discovery process. Trial is currently set for July, 2011.

Carroll's suit accused Copperfield of fraudulent misrepresentation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, assault, and false imprisonment. She says she was "damaged as a consequence" of Copperfield's alleged misrepresentations, and "sustained past general and special damages and will sustain future general and special damages" including emotional and psychological injury and impaired earning capacity.

Copperfield's attorneys now say the complaint "is completely devoid of any factual allegation that would support these conclusions...She does not even allege that she had any medical bills," adding: "As plaintiff has failed to allege any pecuniary harm (or any harm at all for that matter) proximately caused by Copperfield's alleged [luring] misstatements, her fraud claim cannot stand."

Earlier this year, Carroll was charged with prostitution and lying to police about an attempt to solicit a Bellevue businessman. When he refused her alleged offer of $2,000 for sex, she told police he assaulted her. She later refused to cooperate in an investigation, worried the information could be used against her in the Copperfield lawsuit, prosecutors say. She has pled not guilty and is awaiting that trial as well.

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