During Thursday’s episode of the Late Show, David Letterman revealed he’s been a victim of attempted “sex blackmail”.
During the show Letterman announced he’s had relationships with women working on the Late Show – he said “I have had sex with women who work for me on this show” and for that reason a guy was trying to extort money from him to keep it a secret.
Letterman said the guy had left a package in his car outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre which contained evidence of the “terrible things” Dave had done and threatened Dave to reveal everything in a new book he was writing, which he said would then become a screenplay, unless he was given money.
Dave said that on the advice of his attorney he contacted Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and as part of the investigation he handed over a $2million “phoney” cheque to the guy trying to blackmail him.
Letterman said “this morning I did something I’ve never done in my life… I had to go downtown and testify before a grand jury”. Because of the court case, David had to come clean over his sexual encounters with Late Show staff. He said “I had to tell them all of the creepy things that I had done… the creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show”.
Dave described the whole experience as “bizarre” and went on to say he wants to protect his family, himself and his job.
Belinda Luscombe from Time Magazine said “while Letterman seems to be in no immediate risk of losing either his family or his job (ratings from last night’s telecast will likely be stratospheric), his troubles may not be over. Having sex with people who were his employees or whom he managed could leave him, or CBS, open to a sexual-harassment lawsuit”.
BBC News reports “CBS employee Robert “Joe” Halderman, who was arrested on Thursday, appeared in court in New York… Mr Halderman, a producer for the real-life crime show 48 Hours, entered his plea as he appeared in court in Manhattan on a charge of attempted grand larceny” – he’s pleaded not guilty.
The story was covered on this evening’s News At Ten on BBC1 and has been covered by many UK newspapers today with tabloid coverage expected tomorrow. Click here to watch the story reported on the BBC’s News At Ten.
Time.com is reporting that Dave’s assistant Stephanie Birkett was one of the staffers Dave allegedly had an affair with – they report “widespread reports say Birkitt had a romantic relationship with Letterman before his marriage, while she was working as his personal assistant and appearing regularly on his program”.
David Letterman married his long-term partner Regina Lasko earlier this year.
BBC News – “Letterman reveals ‘sex blackmail'”
BBC News – “Man denies Letterman ‘blackmail'”
Time.com – “Stephanie Birkitt: Letterman’s Lover?”
The Associated Press – “The joke’s on Letterman after on-air confession”
BBC News – “Letterman’s life in TV spotlight”
Dave’s announcement from Thursday night’s Late Show;