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The Curious Case of Joseph and Nicholas Brooks

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Since late December, Nick has lived in a cell at Rikers Island. Amanda flew to New York before Christmas and visited him there several times, and in early January, Susan flew in. Even at Rikers, Amanda says, Nick seems to be popular. They speak on the phone often. “I believe 100 percent in his innocence,” she tells me. “As much as I’m affiliated with him, as he’s my brother, I’m a smart enough individual to be able to dissociate myself from my emotions to know the truth.” Of her father, she says, “I am grateful to know he is finally facing the consequences of his actions and that there is some justice in the world.”

On the evening of January 7, Alicia Bell, Lesa Wright McHale, Sylvie’s ex-husband, her former fiancé, and several other longtime friends gathered around a large table at Lil’ Frankie’s, one of Sylvie’s favorite restaurants, to celebrate what would have been her 34th birthday. They passed around iPads with slide shows of Sylvie. They ordered her favorite dishes, toasted her with wine and shots, and told stories about her. It was recalled how, ever since childhood, Sylvie had a knack for finding the wounded, from dogs to people, and taking them in.

In the last week of January, the Manhattan D.A. revealed that twelve more alleged victims of Joseph Brooks had stepped forward. Nicholas is being represented by his father’s attorney, but according to Amanda, Joe has not visited his son or contacted him since his arrest.


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