— -- Magician David Copperfield preemptively released a statement Wednesday defending himself against a sexual misconduct allegation shortly before news of the claim against him went public.
In a story published Thursday by The Wrap, Brittney Lewis, who was a 17-year-old model at the time, alleges that Copperfield drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1988.
The alleged incident occurred after Copperfield judged a modeling contest Lewis participated in, The Wrap reported.
While not explicitly denying the new accusations, Copperfield said in his statement that he's been the subject of false accusations in the past and he will "weather another storm."
Copperfield said his life has been turned “upside down” by false allegations of assault in the past.
“Three years and hundreds of stories reported on a false claim investigated by the FBI, where the end result was that the accuser was caught by law enforcement making the same false claim about another man,” he said.
Copperfield was referring to a case brought by Lacey Carroll over a 2007 incident in which she claimed she was raped by Copperfield following one of his shows.
Federal prosecutors investigated for two years and eventually closed the case without bringing charges against him, according to the Seattle Times. Carroll was later arrested and charged with making a false statement to police in December 2009 after she claimed a different man raped her. Carroll later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to community service in that case, the Seattle Times reported.
In regards to the new allegations, Copperfield said, “While I weather another storm, I want the [#MeToo] movement to continue to flourish. Always listen, and consider everything carefully, but please for everyone’s sake don’t rush to judgment.”