MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The family of Sylvie Cachay, an up-and-coming swimsuit designer who was murdered at the posh SoHo House, want "every penny" her alleged killer Nicholas Brooks might be entitled to from his late father.
Brooks, 25, is accused of strangling and drowning Cachay, 33, in a bathtub inside a suite she rented at the Meatpacking District hotspot in December 2010. He is the son of disgraced Oscar-winning composer Joseph Brooks, who committed suicide in May 2011 before facing his own sexual assault and rape charges.
"We want to make sure he doen't ever make dime in his life ... we will take all steps to find every penny he has," said Susan Karten, an attorney for Cachay's family. While Nicholas Brooks has been charged with second-degree murder, Cachay's family sued him in the event that he has or is set to receive any money from his late father's estate or a trust fund.
"In my opinion, the fact that he did not defend the lawsuit means he has no defense," said Karten. Cachay's family made the statements visiting a pretrial hearing for Brooks' murder case.
Brooks' criminal attorney, Jeffrey Hoffman, said the conclusions drawn by Karten are "silly" and should not be construed as admitting guilt. Hoffman explained that Brooks is representing himself in the civil dispute and plans to file papers on his own.
Hoffman also said he did not believe Brooks was set to receive money from his father and did not have much money of his own.
"It's not a good financial situation. I don't know if any trust funds or things of that nature exist," he added. "Like anyone in this world, they're certainly welcome to look and see if they can find anything."
Brooks, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, appeared sullen in court on Tuesday as his lawyer filed motions as part of his ongoing murder case.
His lawyer is seeking a review by a defense expert of the sealed results of Cachay's autopsy.
Brooks' father, Joseph Brooks, was about to stand trial for sexual assault and rape committed against various young women he allegedly lured to his Upper East Side apartments for purported film auditions.
His biggest hit, "You Light Up My Life," was earning him royalties up until his death, but Hoffman, who also represented the elder Brooks, said the song was no longer very profitable.
The elder Brooks, who committed suicide in May 2011, did not include his son in his will, Hoffman said.
Brooks is back in court on the murder case March 19.