Designer found dead in Soho House hotel room

The boyfriend of a fashion designer found dead in a bathtub at New York's Soho House hotel was being questioned by police yesterday.

Nicholas Brooks, the son of "You Light Up My Life" songwriter Joseph Brooks, has been in custody since the body of Sylvie Cachay, was discovered at about 3.30am on Thursday at Soho House. Investigators were seeking a search warrant to look for traces of DNA, skin under his fingernails, and any possible signs of struggle or trauma, said Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

Mr Brooks, 24, has not been charged with a crime. He was apparently speaking with an attorney, but police said they did not know the lawyer's name.

Ms Cachay, 33, wearing a black top and underwear, was found in the oval tub, face-up, after hotel staff noticed the ceiling below her room was leaking. Investigators said she had some red marks around her neck and a bite mark on her hand. A bottle of prescription pills was found in the room, but no illegal drugs were found.

Ms Cachay lived in an apartment in Manhattan's West Village, but had a membership to the exclusive offshoot of the original London private members' club. That meant she had access to the rooftop pool, where Sex and the City episodes were filmed, and was able to rent one of the 24 guest rooms at a discount. The hotel has hosted Hollywood stars such as Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts.

The medical examiner's office said yesterday that toxicology tests were being performed on the body after an initial autopsy was unable to conclusively pinpoint the cause of death. Such tests typically take days.

Mr Browne said there had been a small bedroom fire sparked by a candle at her apartment earlier in the week, and that may have led her to stay at the Soho House.

Ms Cachay and Mr Brooks had been dating about six months, and investigators said some of her friends told them he was erratic. Ms Cachay grew up with dual citizenship, splitting her time between Peru and Virginia. She graduated from Marymount College with a degree in design.

She interned at Marc Jacobs and worked for Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret. She left the lingerie empire in 2006 to start her own collection, but had been working at fashion houses again after the economy tanked and she lost her backing. Her former publicist called her the "darling of the swimsuit world".

Mr Brooks' Academy Award-winning father is awaiting trial in an unrelated case. The 72-year-old was accused of raping 11 women he lured to his apartment with the promise of a starring role in a movie. He has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges and has been freed on bail.

He won the Oscar for best original song for the 1977 ballad "You Light Up My Life" for the soundtrack of the film of the same name. He also wrote and directed the movie about a comedian who has a one-night stand with a director.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker / Telesales

£15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - Dereham

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - OTE £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

Recruitment Genius: Audit Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Graduate Opportunities are available at a lead...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project