David Copperfield’s B-Side (II)

Last week we talked about the less luminous side of one of the greatest stars in the sky of magic; the face of the coin that usually remains hidden, the less beautiful part of show business, but the one which shows us that, behind all professional careers, no matter how bright, there is always a certain component of dirty work and plucking up one’s guts to face the many troubles and risks involving the trade.

David Copperfield’s a complex figure; polyhedral and riddled with chiaroscuros, despite his legacy in the world of magic is, as a whole, as positive as it is indisputable. Today we will not make reference to the incidents –and accidents– he has had to experience throughout his long career, but to another lesser-known field… although with a high dose of staging: Copperfield, the litigant.

David, what a lovely boy, always ready for a trial
  • The secrecy in magic: In 1994 David Copperfield sued Herbert L. Becker for his intention in publishing a book (All the Secrets of Magic Revealed) in which he uncovered all the tricks of the greatest illusionists in the world. Becker won the trial, but eventually the work published did not contain any of the tricks of Copperfield, who had previously reached an agreement of confidentiality with the author… That is: money in exchange for silence. Just a sample of our magician’s misgivings about their “children” and his ability to move behind the scenes to avoid losing the surprise factor…
  • The trophy wife: Copperfield also had magic of his part when it came to finding love… Well, indeed, since for five years (1994-1999) he was matched, neither more nor less than with one of the most famous sex icons on the planet: the German model Claudia Schiffer. However, several rumors hinted that their relationship was a mere advertising farce. Finally, in 1997 Paris Match magazine made it public and the artist was quick to denounce the publication for 30 million dollars. Both parties reached an economic agreement two years later.
A nice couple of lovebirds…
  • The private island: Musha Clay is a dream paradise island located in the Bahamas that until 2004 had belonged to John Melk, the multi-millionaire founder of the successful movie rental company Blockbuster. Copperfield bought the island that same year through a third limited company. The problem? Well, Melk felt cheated, since he would never have sold the property to the illusionist, who, in his defense, argued that, had he revealed his name, Melk would have wanted to take advantage of his fame to ask for an exorbitant price. Nevertheless, and after a few tough months of litigation, the two reached a confidential agreement in 2006.

 

Life is easy with a private island…