An Oscar-winning composer [Joseph Brooks] faces multiple rape charges after allegedly using the award and the allure of movie stardom to tempt young women to his casting couch…Mr Brooks, who wrote and directed the 1977 film You Light Up My Life, about a comedian who has a one-night stand with a director and which won an Oscar for Best Song, faces up to 25 years in jail if convicted of first-degree rape…Prosecutors allege that Mr Brooks posted adverts on the internet site Craigslist in which he offered to turn young women into film stars.
The adverts said that an “Oscar Award-winning composer” was searching for a “new face” — a beautiful “young girl between 18 to 22”. “He intimidated them. They were frightened and suddenly found themselves in his apartment for different purposes than they had anticipated," Robert Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, said.
And you know what's really scary, is his credentials are REAL. So even if you did your research, it would seem above-board. But read on (full article here)...
Most of the women targeted came from Washington state and Oregon in America’s Pacific northwest, and would have been tired by the time that they arrived to meet Mr Brooks at his flat on East 63rd Street in New York.
Once the women were inside, Mr Brooks allegedly told them to audition for the role of a prostitute in a scene that required them to drink a lot of wine.
“The part called for them to drink the wine in a seductive manner. He told them to be very comfortable with their bodies, to drink the wine and feel sexy about themselves as they became more and more intoxicated," Adam Lamboy, of the Manhattan Special Victims Squad, said.
That takes a lot of forethought, help, and deceit on his end, to be sure. So it's understandable that a girl might initially feel comfortable enough to make the cross-country trek. BUT BE FOREVER WARNED about auditions in anyone's home or apartment. Sometimes they're legit, but always be safe: request to meet at a different location, bring a friend, tell someone where you are going, and leave as soon as anything gets fishy.
All this serves to remind us, dear readers and fellow actors, that we must always be vigilant. Acting is a job, just like any other. It's not worth risking your health or your safety for.
And, should anything bad go down (god forbid), then by all means REPORT IT. To the authorities or even just to whoever hosted the casting notice. Don't let one unfortunate incident snowball to dozens. Help a gal out.
Gabby always says: 'Tis better to be alive and out of work, than to be dead or raped. Now... go forth and be awesome.