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.The New York Times story is here.
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."
Friday, October 2, 2009
David Letterman extortion scandal
My mother loathes Bill Clinton for one reason and one reason only: his affair with Monica Lewinsky. And this news will ensure that she'll be watching Conan if she's up that late:
Hey, the guy's only human, and a person in his position might end up having temptation thrown at him. With a big enough ego, he might seek it out.
But none of that warrants being extorted. Celebrities are still people who deserve their privacy, and it's a shame that someone thought it was worth $2 million for these transgressions to be kept private.
In the end, it's a lesson no small number of people fail to learn (especially in Korea): the best defense is to keep your nose clean.