A Manhattan jury today found 27-year-old Nicholas Brooks guilty of murdering his former girlfriend, the swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay. The prosecution said Brooks had strangled and drowned Cachay in a bathtub at New York's tony Soho House after Cachay dumped him in 2010.
Brooks is the son of Oscar-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks, who himself was arrested in 2009 for sexually assaulting aspiring actresses before he committed suicide in 2011. Jurors heard testimony that Cachay, who was 33 when she died, wrote a four-page letter to the hard-partying Brooks asking him to clean up his life and treat her better. Then, on the morning of her murder, Cachay wrote this email:
Nick, for the past six months I have supported you financially and emotionally. I am speaking with the credit card company and the police and I am going tell them that I never allowed you to use my card. I don’t care. Have fun in jail. Sylvie.
Cachay and Brooks made up briefly that day, and they checked into the Soho House together in the evening after a minor fire started by a candle damaged Cachay's apartment bedding. Witnesses soon heard the couple arguing in their room. After the fighting died down, Brooks took to the hotel's dining room to have a steak before leaving to go drinking with a man he'd met in the restaurant. Hotel staff discovered Cachay's body while investigating a water leak.
Brooks is expected to be sentenced on July 26.