The 61-year-old illusionist was forced to break the magicians’ code and reveal his secret as a judge ordered him to explain his famous trick following the lawsuit filed by a British tourist.
Gavin Cox, 58, is suing the magician for negligence as he claimed being injured after taking part in Copperfield’s famous trick in Las Vegas in 2013.
Cox suffered a dislocated shoulder following a fall while participating in the trick and claims he has since suffered chronic pain and brain injury that resulted in spending $ 400,000 as medical bills, according to NBC.
Copperfield, the most commercially successful magician in the world, has performed his famous trick ‘Lucky #13’ thousand times without any prior incident.
The performance involves randomly selecting 13 audience members, making them disappear on stage, only for them to later reappear at the back of the room.
Copperfield’s executive producer Chris Kenner explained in court that, once the curtain falls, the 13 participants brought on stage are taken through passageways that go around the Las Vegas MGM building, where they exit and re-enter at the back of the theatre.
Mr Cox, a resident of Kent, fell while being led through these passages by stagehands. He was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder at the time.
“There was a duty by the defendants to provide a safe environment to the audience participants,” said Cox’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, in the opening statements. Cox said that the passageways were full of construction dust and debris.
However, Copperfield claims the passageways were clear when he walked through them. MGM, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, agreed.
Copperfield will testify on Tuesday as the trial continues.
The magician has won 21 Emmy Awards for television shows that have mesmerised audiences throughout the world. His most celebrated tricks include making the Statue of Liberty disappear, walking through the Great Wall of China, flying in the air, escaping Alcatraz prison and levitating over the Grand Canyon.