Songwriter Joseph Brooks found dead in NYC Apartment
A Grammy-winning songwriter, Joseph Brooks, is found dead in his New York Home.
Police say Grammy-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks is dead of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment. The 73-year-old Brooks was arrested in 2009 on charges of molesting women lured to his apartment for supposed acting auditions. He pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges, and was awaiting trial. His son was also arrested in connection with a woman’s death at a NYC hotel last year.
More details on this story soon….
09:48p UPDATE, written by The Associated Press.
Joseph Brooks, the Academy Award-winning songwriter of “You Light Up My Life” who was awaiting trial for rape, was found dead Sunday of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment, police said.
Brooks was found on the living room couch with a plastic dry-cleaning bag around his head and a towel wrapped around his neck, Browne said. A hose attached to a helium tank was hooked up to the bag, he said. It was not immediately clear how long Brooks had been there.
The apartment door was ajar, Browne said.
The medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Police said a suicide note was found but they didn’t reveal its contents.
Brooks was awaiting trial on allegations that he molested women who were lured to his apartment for supposed acting auditions. He pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges.
Brooks’ lawyer and Manhattan prosecutors had no immediate comment about Brooks’ death Sunday.
Brooks won the Academy Award for best original song for the 1977 Debby Boone ballad “You Light Up My Life” and directed a related movie. He also won a Grammy for the song.
He pleaded not guilty in 2009 to rape, sexual abuse and other charges in the attacks on 13 women. His trial date had not been set.
Prosecutors say he lured most of the women to his apartment through an online ad offering auditions for a movie role, then sexually assaulted them after making them drink apparently drugged wine as part of an “acting exercise.”
Brooks suffered a stroke in 2008, and his lawyer had said the songwriter’s health was deteriorating during the court case. He appeared gaunt and shuffled slowly as he came to recent court dates.
Brooks’ son, Nicholas, has also been charged in a high-profile criminal case in New York.
Nicholas Brooks is charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, Peruvian-American swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay, who was found dead in an overflowing bathtub at the swank Soho House club and hotel in December. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail at the Rikers Island jail complex.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.