Oscar-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks dead in apparent suicide
Joseph Brooks, who penned the 1970s Academy Award-winning hit song, “You Light Up My Life” and was awaiting trial on rape-related charges, was found dead Sunday in his Upper East Side apartment in an apparent suicide, police said.
The 73-year-old songwriter, whose son is separately facing a murder charge, was found at his E. 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue home with a plastic dry-cleaning bag over his head and a helium tank with a hose nearby, according to reports. Death by helium is considered a quick and painless way to die.
A suicide note was also found, though cops would not disclose its contents.
A friend of Brooks, who was supposed to have lunch with him, made the grim discovery around noon.
Brooks was arrested two years ago for allegedly molesting about a dozen aspiring starlets, who were enticed to his pad through Craigslist and other acting sites, prosecutors said. He pleaded not guilty to the more than 80 counts related to sexual assault and rape, but the trial date had not yet been set.
During court appearances, he appeared gaunt and walked with a cane.
The Brooks family woes also extend to his 25-year-old son, Nicholas, who was charged last December in the murder of his girlfriend, Manhattan swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
Father and son reportedly had a contentious relationship.
Jeffery Hoffman, who represents both of them, did not return a call seeking comment Sunday.