NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police say Grammy-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks is dead of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment.
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The 73-year-old Brooks was arrested in 2009 on charges of molesting women lured to his apartment for supposed acting auditions.
In January, 12 more women who said they were lured to his Manhattan apartment and seduced, joined the 13 others who have accused Brooks of molesting them.
He pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges and was awaiting trial.
Books won a Grammy and Academy Award for best original song for the 1977 ballad “You Light Up My Life.” He wrote and directed the movie of the same name.
Police say Brooks was found Sunday with a plastic dry-cleaning bag around his head and a towel wrapped around his neck. There also was a helium tank with a hose attached.
An autopsy will determine the cause of death. A three-page suicide note included complaints about his health, police said.
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, is charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend, Peruvian-American swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay. She was found dead, half-clothed and face-up, in a tub at the swanky Soho House after water began leaking through to the floor below.
The 24-year-old Brooks had little contact with his father in recent years, authorities have said.
Nicholas Brooks has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail at the Rikers Island jail complex.
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