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Copperfield legal action withdrawn

SEATTLE — A woman who accused David Copperfield of luring her to his private island in the Bahamas and raping her — and who was later charged with fabricating sexual assault claims against another man — dropped her federal lawsuit against the magician Tuesday.

Attorneys for model and waitress Lacey Carroll announced her decision in a news release — just days after a federal judge ruled that Copperfield’s attorneys would be allowed to question her under oath this week.

“It has never been about money,” Carroll said in the statement. “I just wanted him held accountable for what he did.”

The Associated Press does not typically name people who may be victims of sexual assault, but in this case, Carroll’s lawyers identified her in the news release with her consent.

Carroll claimed Copperfield pulled her out of the crowd during a show in Kennewick, in southeastern Washington. She was later invited to visit his island in July 2007. The trip was supposed to lead to possible modeling gigs doing promotional brochures or other materials for Copperfield, she claimed, but Copperfield forced her to perform sex acts instead.

The FBI and federal prosecutors spent more than two years investigating the allegations and even searched Copperfield’s Las Vegas warehouse but closed the case early this year without filing criminal charges and without explaining the decision.

FBI agents raided Copperfield’s Las Vegas warehouse in October 2007.

The raid was highly publicized, but the specifics of the allegations weren’t revealed until months later, when the woman who made the complaint filed the lawsuit.

Carroll filed her civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle seeking damages from Copperfield in July.

“Carroll’s lawsuit was nothing but a pathetic attempt to extort Mr. Copperfield for money with malicious and false allegations,” said Copperfield’s Seattle attorney, Angelo Calfo. “There was no settlement. Mr. Copperfield would not and did not pay Carroll a dime to drop her lawsuit.”

Calfo said his client’s view of the case was vindicated when Carroll was charged with making a false sexual assault claim against another man in Bellevue, Wash., late last year.

In that case, police said, Carroll reported she was sexually assaulted by a man who was a customer at the restaurant where she worked.

She told police she might have been drugged and woke up in a hotel room to find the man on top of her.

As Carroll left the hotel room and began telling hotel staff she had been taken advantage of, the man called police and reported he was being extorted, according to Bellevue Police Department records. Carroll had left the room and made up the story after he refused to pay her $2,000 for sex, he said.

A woman who was with the pair earlier in the night said Carroll had been sexually aggressive with the man, and hotel surveillance video showed them hugging and kissing in the lobby, police said.

Review-Journal writer Mike Weatherford contributed to this report

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