In exchange for a multimillion-dollar fee, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith and rapper 50 Cent took to the stage at New York City’s famous Rainbow Room in the early morning hours of November 27, 2005, as headline performers at the $10 million bat mitzvah of Long Island 13-year-old Elizabeth Brooks
According to the ensuing coverage of the event in the New York Daily News, guests at the Brooks bat mitzvah began their celebration unaware of what lay ahead. When a soprano-sax player who looked suspiciously like Kenny G turned out, in fact, to be Kenny G, the bizarrely star-studded event was only getting started. In the hours preceding the appearances of Aerosmith and 50 Cent, former A-list stars Don Henley, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty all graced the stage at the Rainbow Room, entertaining guests who had been given gift bags containing upwards of $1,000 in personal electronics, including digital cameras that 50 Cent’s bodyguard reportedly tried and failed to stop guests from using to snap keepsake photos of the event. Within days, however, those photos had appeared on numerous blogs, along with thousands of snarky comments.
The father who spent $10 million celebrating his daughter’s coming-of-age was defense contractor David H. Brooks, CEO of DHB Industries, a Long Island company that manufactured body armor for the United States military. Two years after the lavish event, Brooks was served with a 71-page federal indictment featuring charges of insider trading, tax evasion and raiding his company’s coffers for personal gain—including for the $10 million he used to pay for his daughter’s lavish bat mitzvah. He died in prison in 2016.