"You Light Up My Life" Songwriter Settles Lawsuit

By JENNIFER PELTZ
|  Saturday, Jan 2, 2010  |  Updated 9:51 AM EDT
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"You Light Up My Life" Songwriter Settles Lawsuit

WNBC

Joseph Brooks, 71

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The Academy Award-winning songwriter of "You Light Up My Life'' has ended his six-figure fight with a former fiancée he accused of conning him out of cash and pricey gifts by hiding the fact that she was already married.

     A Manhattan judge last week approved a settlement between composer Joseph Brooks and Joaly Gomez, who said Brooks knew she wasn't single.
    
The settlement terms weren't specified, but court records show Brooks previously agreed Gomez could keep most of a disputed $550,000 unless they struck a deal to share it.
    
Brooks, 71, sued his 23-year-old ex-fiancee in October, seeking at least $2 million in damages and the return of the money, a $60,000 engagement ring, a $70,000 Mercedes-Benz and other presents. Gomez was a "young schemer'' who "tried to sucker a 'sugar daddy,''' Brooks' lawyer, William Rome, said in court papers.
    
Brooks said he learned Gomez wasn't single only when he spotted a marriage certificate in her handbag in October, 18 months into their relationship.
    
But Gomez said in court papers that Brooks knew all along about her marriage. He even steered her to a lawyer in June to arrange her divorce, she said.
    
Throughout their relationship, "there were no secrets as to each party's obvious agenda,'' wrote Gomez's lawyer, Rosemarie Arnold. Brooks met Gomez in October 2007 by placing an ad looking for "pretty girls'' for "companionship'' and initially paid her $1,000 an hour for it, Arnold wrote.
    
She said that as the relationship progressed, he gave Gomez $1 million as a gift -- but then borrowed $500,000 of it to help him make bail after he was charged in June with a series of casting-couch rapes.
    
Brooks has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on rape, sexual abuse and other charges. He's accused of sexually assaulting 11 women who came to his Manhattan apartment to audition for supposed movie roles.
    
He promised Gomez he would return the money but didn't, Arnold wrote.
    
Arnold declined to comment Friday. Rome didn't immediately respond to telephone and e-mail messages.
    
Brooks won the Oscar for best original song for the Debby Boone ballad "You Light Up My Life.'' He also wrote and directed the 1977 romantic comedy of the same name. It concerns a comedian who dreams of being an actress and has a one-night stand with a director.

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