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David Letterman says he was victim of $2-million extortion attempt in sex case


Talk host David Letterman said Thursday that he was the victim of a $2-million extortion attempt related to his sexual relationships with staffers on CBS' "The Late Show."

During a taping for tonight's broadcast, Letterman told viewers that three weeks ago he was approached by a person who claimed to have information about the host's affairs with female staff members. This person, Letterman said, threatened to expose the relationships unless payment of $2 million was received. The CBS star approached the Manhattan district attorney's office, which began an investigation that culminated in today's arrest of the person, whom Letterman did not identify.

According to the website TMZ, the alleged extortionist is New York businessman Robert Halderman, 51.

Letterman, 62, said that during his grand-jury testimony he admitted to the sexual relationships.

"My response to that is, yes I have," he told his studio audience. "Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps." However, he added: "I need to certainly protect my family."

CBS issued a terse statement that said in its entirety: "Mr. Letterman's comments on the broadcast tonight speak for themselves."

A spokesman for Letterman declined to elaborate on Letterman's remarks. A spokesperson for the district attorney's office declined to comment on the case.

Earlier this year, Letterman married Regina Lasko, his companion since 1986. The couple have a young son, Harry, whom Letterman frequently mentions on the program.

-- Scott Collins

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This image rendered form video shows David Letterman as he tells his story during a taping of his late-night show Thursday Oct. 1, 2009 that he had sexual relationships with female employees and that someone tried to extort $2 million from him over the affairs, and CBS says an employee has been charged with attempted grand larceny in the case. (AP Photo/CBS)

Comments () | Archives (60)

While you may call him a creep or whatever, what he did was wrong but this story is about extortion and someone trying to profit from something like this is just rediculous.
I hope they send the extortionist away for a long time, like 2mil dollars in taxpayers money long time.

jad: we've 'all had' illicit affairs? Speak for yourself, I for one have been together with my wife for 20 years, married for the last 10 and have never -ever- even considered having an affair! Don't assume that we have all had affairs, I know many people, like yourself apparently, have had them but that does not mean they are correct. The fact that Letterman was trying to be blackmailed is terrible, but that doesn't mean that his affairs were OK.

If you Jad and Letterman could stand looking deep down inside yourselves and live with the fact you have cheated on your wives, well then perhaps that speaks about the lack of morality and decency each of you have, as well as a lack of respect for your spouses and the sanctity of marriage...

geez.... Letterman is just another american who perhaps (I say perhaps because in no way does anyone know any details) cheated on his wife... he just got married this year, and there is no clue as to the timeline of all this. It could have been quote possibly before his marriage.
yet some in this comment section are ready to ask for him to leave his show ?? why? if you honestly think that anyone in television is better than this, you're really fooling yourself. I applaud Letterman for going to the DA and dealing with this the right way.
He's out with it too, honest and forthcoming about something that he could have tried to hide. It's his life, he's living it how he wants to. If you don't like it, change the channel. It's that easy.

Can't wait to hear what Leno says about this in his monologue...

m Richards, maybe you should learn to spell "hypocrite" before you start slinging the word around. And, since I've never in over 20 years heard him criticize someone for having sex*, maybe you should look up the meaning, as well.

(*And, no, jokes about Clinton/Lewinsky weren't criticisms, just jokes. Tonight's revelation about his own affairs also included jokes. Go figure. He's a comedian.)

He should be prosecuted and fired, if any f us normal people in a position of power and authority had se with one of our subordinates the same thing would have happened

These were before his marriage and having a son. I'm certain if you read any past info about Letterman, you would find mention of his numerous relationships. Also hers as well, she was a writer for his show for many years.

Doubt this will be eye-opening news to the now Mrs. Letterman and Jr.

Letterman is human just like any politician that has got caught with his willy being where it should not supposed to be If you don't want to watch him then don't see if I care which I really don't. I'm glad he came out and stood up to the extortionist and not like most politician that try to hide in under the carpet yes both Republicans and Democrats do it As far as apology to his wife and his son thats a private matter between him and his family Like The SC Governor and his family So all you high and Mighty people out there throw the first stone if ye has never done any wrong, Its easy to criticize but harder to live as a human

Who cares? I like his top ten and his musical guests.

Worldwide Pants. Stupid Human Tricks. The jokes write themselves.

But here.... so many stones cast, so many glass houses....so many people who don't know how to spell hypocrite.

Give the man some credit for remaining unmarried until he was done with his staff. [rimshot]

Letterman never liked, him never will. The letterman fans are sick. They are trying to justify his sick behavior.
I thought the Sarah Palin reaction to his jokes were over blown. Now I believe they were right on. Letterman needs to retire and start collecting social security. Can he ever make a joke about anyones judgement with out looking like the biggest hypocrite @$5 in the world. He is disgusting.

LakerMike--WELL SAID!!...seems the sanctity of Marriage has little value...thus, living a Lie. Using the media. to come "clean" to millions of viewers and scrape up public sentiment is pathetic. I wonder if CBS was aware of this prioir..and if so.. is it a mechanism they are using to gauge "public sentiment" and thus,....their response?, before they react. Dave is probably in violation of his contract regarding ethics, etc. and CBS is within their right to DROP HIM!
Wake-up people..this guy makes his living being a bigoted celebrity at the expense of others..that's what he does... and CBS CLEARLY SUPPORTS HIM!..Its a mistake..this behavior exists amongst individuals with their own definition/agenda when it comes to marriage... and protecting the family certainly didn;t enter Daves mind when he was entering into these ...not one..but several affairs. Its about TRUST in case anyone is wondering... How many couples out there can look at their spouse and actually say... to them to their face...I TRUST YOU Completely. ..this willingness to breach this trust is a lack of personal integrity... and transfers as a representative of CBS.... DAVE IS ALWAYS BRINGING UP HIS FAMILY..what a slap in the face.
You deserve all the "ATTENTION" your getting now!
Hey Paul S....,you know about this? What a piece of work.wouldn't want to invite this guy to any family outings...to busy looking at the desert...eh Dave?
What a BUM!
Why didn't Law Enforcement finish their investigation first and levy charges prior to this "sSock and Awe" crap..What a drama King!
Craig F..WOW..surely we can hope to see a "Dave" skit... ha ha ha ha ha ha.. I'll laugh for you..... seeing you can't
It's a GREAT day for AMERICA! ha ha
Worldwide pants...ha ha guess that tells you where Dave's mind is!!

The "moral outrage" in these comments amuses me. What's your standard?What's the problem here? Letterman has always been open with his appreciation of women's charms. He is a known fornicator, even having an out-of-wedlock son. He MAY have committed adultery but there is no evidence so far from these stories. Even so, if you are cool with unwedded sex, why condemn adultery?
Do you believe women need chaperones to safeguard them from the ravages of choosing their own partners? If they are responsible enough to choose, than that aspect (boss/employees) is irrelevant.
If his wife wants to divorce him over this, so be it. What that has to do with his standing as an entertainer, is beyond me.
Think about why this has you in a tizzy, before you start trying to call for his head.
For my part, I'm glad he stood up to bully and criminal and will take his lumps on his terms. I say that with no special love or respect for the man in question.

One would assume that David Letterman has his share of women.
Every female guest has made suggestive remarks.
He is funny & sexy.

The real crime is the scum bucket who tried to black mail him.

Give me a break!
He is not a pervert or a freak. Who said anything about sexual harrasement?
If you watch the show you will see just about EVERY female guest practically throw themselves at him.
He is funny, sexy & openly expresses his appreciation of women.
I am sure that he married a secure strong woman who knows what kind of man he is.

The REAL crime is the creep who tried to blackmail him.

Hah. I read all these snarky comments on here. I wonder if the biggest loudmouths have their own skeletons. OK guys, you're a tv superstar, and now you've got beautiful women throwing themselves all over you. What do you do? I'm not saying he's innocent or not a pig, but come on..I don't think celebrities have to force people to have sex with them. Who knows maybe that guy who tried to get money from Letterman encouraged those woman to approach him, entrapment. We don't know the facts.

It is amazing to say the least. People misinterpret everything. Who ever said that David was married at the time that he had sex with the ladies from his show and how do we know but what they obviously consented as he was not charged with rape.
People have to keep in mind that he is a COMEDIAN and that is what they do.
Poke fun of people. Take a look at Saturday Night Live. They do the same thing and how do we know THEY aren't having sex with someone from the show?

I think it just boils down to... when you do something wrong, it comes back to you 10 fold. He has lost his reputation, his marriage is now suffering from lack of trust and respect. People view him differently. This is going to wear on him and age him quickly. Now he's got to swim through all this and hopefully he'll come out of this a better and wiser man. He may learn to appreciate things rather than take advantage of them. What he did was shameful and now he's being punished for it. Whatever happens will happen and there are far too many other problems and issues in our world that deserve our attention than David Letterman and his affairs. So what... it is their problem and not ours. If David loses his job on CBS, well then... it was meant to be. He has plenty of money and he can retire early.


well.i was critisized for using my caps lock...so i support david letterman...because he is only an entertainer and not...i repeat...not a politician...so his sexual exploits are not my or anyone's business...except of course his wife. my sympathy to his wife, however, he is a comic genius and entertainer....so i am sorry for his wife...and the women he is or was involved with..he is an entertainer and this whole scandal does not really matter...he is funny and rules late night comedy.

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