This was certainly not what these aspiring actresses expected when they dropped by for an audition.
Joseph Brooks, the 71-year-old director, producer and songwriter who scored an Academy Award and No. 1 hit for penning the 1977 ballad "You Light Up My Life," was indicted Tuesday on charges of raping and sexually assaulting 11 women in his Upper East Side apartment. His personal assistant, 42-year-old Shawni Lucier, was also indicted on charges of knowingly facilitating the crimes, which occurred between March 2005 and April 2008.
Brooks pleaded not guilty to a 91-count indictment and bail was set at $500,000, says a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney. He was released and is scheduled to return to court tomorrow to post bond. The case was adjourned until Aug. 11. The charges carry a penalty of at least 25 years in prison.
The victims ranged in age from 18 to 30 and were allegedly lured to Brooks' apartment by postings for acting gigs on Craigslist and a talent website. Prosecutors say Brooks and Lucier then plied the women with drinks and possibly drugs.
Aside from writing and directing You Light Up My Life, Brooks also composed the music for and produced the 1983 cult hit Eddie and the Cruisers.