Official: Composer's son questioned in tub death

Published December 09, 2010

| Associated Press

A woman was found dead Thursday in an overflowing bathtub in a swank Manhattan hotel room, and a law enforcement official said her boyfriend — the son of an Academy Award-winning songwriter — was being questioned by police.

The partially clothed 33-year-old woman was found in a Soho House room after police received a 911 call from the hotel at about 3 a.m., police said.

Water was discovered leaking from a ceiling and hotel staff went to the floor above to investigate. They found the woman, dressed in a sweater and underwear, submerged in the tub.

There were prescription drugs found at the scene, but the pills were in the bottle, and the woman had some small red marks on her neck, police said. The room was not in disarray, and no illegal drugs were found.

The woman, described by police as a design professional, was not identified, pending family notification. The medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.

Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said investigators were awaiting autopsy results.

Nicholas Brooks, the 24-year-old son of "You Light Up My Life" songwriter Joseph Brooks, was seen leaving the hotel earlier and returned at about 3:30 a.m., said the official. In an unrelated case, the father is fighting charges that accuse him of molesting would-be actresses in his Manhattan apartment.

The official was not authorized to speak publicly about a person not arrested of a crime and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The younger Brooks has not been charged, and he apparently did not yet have an attorney.

The Soho House, which contains a hotel and a private club, is located on Manhattan's West side in a neighborhood frequented by stars and the city's elite, near chic restaurants like Spice Market and Pastis. Its website says it has 24 rooms that offer guests "a unique combination of luxury and style" and that card-carrying members have to be verified at the front desk.

The unassuming tan brick building has no sign advertising the hotel's existence, but the rich and famous flock to the lush interior. Countless fancy parties have brought many celebrities through the doors. Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Liev Schreiber and soccer star David Beckham and wife Victoria have all stayed there. The ladies of "Sex and the City" filmed an episode at its rooftop pool.

The dead woman was a member, which meant she could use the pool and got discounts on rooms, police said.

On Thursday afternoon, the street was quiet as a few crime scene investigators went in and out of the building. Holiday shoppers milled nearby at upscale boutiques glittering with red and green tinsel.

The elder Brooks, 72, has been accused of raping 11 women he lured to his apartment with the promise of a starring role in a movie. He has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges and is free on bail. His next court date is Dec. 21.

He won the Oscar for Best Original Song for the 1977 ballad "You Light Up My Life." He also wrote and directed the movie "You Light Up My Life," about a comedian who has a one-night stand with a director.

The father's attorney had no comment Thursday.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/09/composers-son-questioned-nyc-hotel-death/