Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Designer Murder Suspect Fears Religious Violence in Jail After Watching ‘Oz’

Sounds like Nick Brooks has been watching too much TV. While police grilled him about the murder of his swimsuit-designer girlfriend, Sylvie Cachay, found strangled in a bathtub at the Meatpacking District’s tony, members-only Soho House, the 24-year-old blabbered that “I watch the show ‘Oz.’ I’ve seen what happens in jail,” according to the NY Daily News. “I’m Jewish and I’m worried about getting beat up by white supremacists.” In the HBO prison drama Oz, the white supremacist gang – based on the real-life Aryan Brotherhood – is led by inmate Vernon Schillinger, played by J.K. Simmons, according to Ask.com.

“Brooks’ panicky statements were released after he pleaded not guilty in a clear voice to second-degree murder, a charge that could mean 25 years to life in a real prison if he is convicted,” the News reports. “How long can I get for something like this,” Brooks also asked detectives after his arrest, according to newly-released police statements cited by the New York Post. “Will I get bail? I have money in a trust fund, but I have to get the money in person,” he announced. “Should I pay someone for protection while I’m in?” the paranoid-sounding Brooks asked detectives during the drive to Central Booking, according to the police statements quoted in the Post.

Brooks, 24, has insisted that Cachay was alive and sleeping when he left her room at the swanky hotel on Dec. 9 to party with a friend, according to AMNewYork. Hotel workers later found Cachay dead in an overflowing bathtub. Defense attorney Jeffrey Hoffman did not ask for bail and Brooks is due back in court Feb. 8.

Brooks is the son of Joseph Brooks, Oscar-winning composer of the ’70s dirge ballad “You Light Up My Life” and “an accused violent felon like his son,” according to the Post. “The elder Brooks is charged with luring 13 young women to his Upper East Side apartment under the pretense of giving them movie roles – only to pounce on them in attacks ranging from rape to forcible touching.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning journalism this Passover.

In this age of misinformation, our work is needed like never before. We report on the news that matters most to American Jews, driven by truth, not ideology.

At a time when newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall. That means for the first time in our 126-year history, Forward journalism is free to everyone, everywhere. With an ongoing war, rising antisemitism, and a flood of disinformation that may affect the upcoming election, we believe that free and open access to Jewish journalism is imperative.

Readers like you make it all possible. Right now, we’re in the middle of our Passover Pledge Drive and we need 500 people to step up and make a gift to sustain our trustworthy, independent journalism.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Our Goal: 500 gifts during our Passover Pledge Drive!

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.