"You Light Up My Life" Songwriter Charged With Sexual Assaults

June 24, 2009 9:07 AM ET

Joseph Brooks, the songwriter who won an Oscar for his 1977 hit "You Light Up My Life," was arrested and charged with 91 counts of rape and sexual assault charges yesterday in Manhattan, the New York Times reports. Brooks, now 71, allegedly advertised on Craigslist in Portland and Seattle for aspiring actresses and lured respondents back to his Upper East Side apartment, where District Attorney Robert Morgenthau says he forced them to drink wine and assaulted them. The incidents occurred between 2005 and 2008, but Morgenthau says the DAs office is also investigating other possible attacks dating back to 1970. Brooks' attorney Jeffrey C. Hoffman, said his client would plead not guilty and that the charges "look preposterous," the Times reports. "You Light Up My Life," which was penned for the film of the same name, won an Academy Award in 1978; the platinum Debby Boone cover set a Billboard record for longest time spent at Number One.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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