Scarlett Pleads No Contest to Attack on Mentor

Injured Magician John Lewis and Scarlett in Booking PhotoThe Las Vegas Review-Journal’sMike Weatherford provides a lengthy piece on the how, what, and to some extent, the why of events leading to Rachel Jessee’s guilty plea and conviction for battery last month.

We reported on Ms. Jessee’s rapid rise to fame and attempt to become the preeminent female magician in Las Vegas.

We interviewed Ms. Jessee for the Inside Magic Celebrity Interview section as she began a three month run at the Riviera.

While it seemed unlikely anyone could make it to the big show with less than five years in the business, Ms. Jessee seemed to have the backing, momentum, and charisma to make it happen.

As Mr. Weatherford notes, Ms. Jessee’s story serves as a “cautionary tale of a show business dream.” The dream was shared between Ms. Jessee and her mentor and manager John Lewis.

In the end, Mr. Lewis claims he spent nearly a million dollars, lost his prized antique car collection, left his wife of 41 years, and subject to Ms. Jessee’s physical abuse.

It is also a story of domestic violence and — if Lewis had his choice in the legal system — elder abuse.Mr. Lewis has reconciled with his wife, Carolyn and together they filed a breach of contract suit against Ms. Jessee alleging “repeated physical abuse and financial improprieties in converting Carolyn Lewis’ assets without her consent.”

Mr. Lewis told the columnist, “It’s hard to believe that when you see her onstage, but she would just, like, turn into ‘The Exorcist,’ ” he says. “She’s got a terrible violent temper that just explodes. It’s hard to explain, because she looks small. But she’s extremely strong when she gets mad.”

Mr. Lewis says he still wants Jessee to perform as Scarlett, because that’s the only hope he has of recouping his investment.

Ms. Jessee told Mr. Weatherford, “He will be compensated, of course, at some point when I do make some money,” she says. “It’s the right thing to do.”

“He’s a good businessman, he’s had successful businesses,” she says. “But on a personal level, he’s very immature, and I tried to help him. You can only have a close relationship with somebody like that for so long. You can only help somebody so much.”

And Scarlett will go on, she says.
“Obviously, I’m new to the business. Obviously, I’m new to magic, and I know I have a long way to go. But he convinced me I could pull it off, and I guess I sort of did.

“I’m sticking to it,” she says, with a new show that could relaunch in six months.

Read the full article in The Review-Journal here.

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