Letterman Allegedly Blackmailed by CBS News' "48 Hours" Producer Over Affairs with Staff - Video 10/1/09
CBS News Report on Letterman Extortion Attempt; CBS News Worker Allegedly Behind the Plot
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Letterman Describes Extortion Attempt; Admits to Affairs
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Here is video of David Letterman last night describing an extortion attempt against him that was based on the fact that he has had affairs with staff members of his show over the years. The top video is a CBS News Report on the extortion attempt, and the CBS News Worker who is allegedly behind it.
Letterman revealed both the extortion attempt ($2 Million) and the fact he has had the affairs on his show last night.
He did not reveal the identity of the blackmailer. But CBS News is reporting that the alleged blackmailer is a 20-year veteran of CBS News' "48 Hours":
CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace reports that Letterman's alleged blackmailer was Joe Halderman, a 20-year-plus veteran of CBS News.
The "48 Hours" producer was taken into custody Thursday by two plain-clothes police officers outside the CBS News broadcast center in Manhattan.
Halderman is an award-winning journalist who has covered several wars for CBS, reports Wallace. He has worked as a producer for the real-life crime show "48 Hours" for more than a decade.
Letterman told his story during the taping of his show, mixing in jokes to an audience that seemed confused about what it was. He called it a "bizarre experience" that left him feeling disturbed and menaced.
In a release from the show's production company, Letterman said he referred the matter to the Manhattan district attorney's office. An investigation ended in the arrest Thursday after Letterman issued a phony $2 million check to keep the matter silent.
The late-night comic began his show by walking onstage and briefly leaning on a pillar with his back to the audience. Then he gave a monologue with jokes against frequent foils like Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin. He told his personal story after sitting behind his desk.
He said he was glad the audience was in a pleasant mood "because I have a little story that I'd like to tell you and the home viewers as well."
Three weeks ago, Letterman said he got in his car early in the morning and found a package with a letter saying "I know that you do some terrible, terrible things and that I can prove you do some terrible things." He acknowledged the letter contained proof.
Letterman said he called his lawyer to set up a meeting with Halderman, who threatened to write a screenplay and a book about Letterman unless he was given money. There were two subsequent meetings, the last one resulting in the check being delivered.
He told the audience that he had to testify before a grand jury on Thursday.
"I was worried for myself, I was worried for my family," he said. "I felt menaced by this, and 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," he said. "My response to that is yes, I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Yes, it would, especially for the women."
Whether they wanted to make the relationships public was up to them, he said.
"It's been a very bizarre experience," he said. "I felt like I needed to protect these people. I need to protect my family. I need to protect myself. Hope to protect my job."
"He had to get out there first," CBS "Early Show" legal analyst Lisa Bloom said, adding that Halderman could face between 9 and 22 years if convicted. . . . MORE