Sunday, October 28, 2007

David Copperfield saga

I've been reading a bit of the news stories about David Copperfield and the trouble he's being investigated for. A young woman claims that Copperfield raped her, but there's much, much more to the story. The claim is that when the magician sees a woman he likes in the audience, he instructs his assistants to invite her to be one of the volunteers in the show. She is invited backstage afterwards, and I guess things progress (or not) from there.

That's what this 21 year old is claiming happened to her, that she and her family were given special seats at the show, and invited backstage. There, Copperfield allegedly told her he could help her with her modeling career. Later, he invited her to his island (the guy owns an island!), where she discovered she was the only guest. It is there that the alleged rape supposedly occured.

Now, I am in no way condoning rape or any other act of violence. Let me repeat -- I am not saying it is a victim's fault when something like this happens. But I do want to talk about decision making. Just what did that girl (woman) think would happen on the island? What did she think would be expected of her in exchange for Copperfield's help with her career? Was her family invited to visit, or was it only the woman who was invited to visit the home of a man she barely knew, at his expense? Did that not send any red flags flying? What did her family and friends have to say about this rendezvous? What was she thinking?

I remember being 21. I can only imagine how I would have felt and reacted if an older, handsome, RICH, charming man began calling me, flirting with me, inviting me on exotic vacations. Gee, I would have had wobbly knees if that had happened when I was 31. But you have to make wise decisions. You have to overcome the EXTREMELY POWERFUL emotions you feel, and think with your brain. You have to remember all those things you learned growing up about being careful, not talking to strangers (!), not going to dangerous places alone (and, yes, a man's home is a dangerous place for a single, young woman to go alone, whether that home is in the middle of the Atlantic or three blocks down the street).

I don't know what happened between Copperfield and his accuser. I don't know if Copperfield is guilty or innocent. I believe if he's guilty, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But I know that his accuser is lucky to be alive and that she made a bad choice, likely several bad choices. We cannot be responsible for other people's actions, nor can we control them. But we can choose carefully where we go, and what we do and say. I don't mean that a person needs to live in a bubble where they never take any chances, have any fun, or enjoy life. I mean that you have to think. A man old enough to be that girl's father is not going to offer to help her move forward in the modeling world just because he's kind and caring. Surely her father knew that. Surely, somewhere deep in her heart, she knew that, too.

Make wise decisions...


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