Joseph Brooks, an Academy Award winning songwriter, was found dead in his NYC Upper East Side apartment Sunday afternoon in an apparent suicide. He was famous for writing the 1977 Oscar-winning song, "You Light Up My Life."
According to the Associated Press, Brooks, 73, "was discovered slumped over on a couch in the den, fully-clothed, with a plastic dry-cleaning bag around his head and a towel wrapped around his neck," police spokesperson Paul Browne told the AP. "A hose attached to a helium tank was hooked up to the bag; a three-page suicide note included." No details on the context of the letter have been released.
In 2009, the late musician pled not guilty to over 90 charges of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse, and was still awaiting trial on the allegations. The AP writes: "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."
Last December, Brooks's 24-year-old son, Nicholas Brooks, was charged in the death of his girlfriend, swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay. Cachay, 33, was found dead in a bathtub at the exclusive Manhattan members-only club Soho House, where the younger Brooks had been with her. According to the AP, he "has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail at the Rikers Island jail complex."