New details of blackmail plot -- People
- From: katycren <Katycren@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2009 09:50:38 -0700 (PDT)
Details of Letterman Blackmail Plot Revealed
By Michelle Tauber
Originally posted Friday October 02, 2009 12:25 PM EDT
David Letterman and Joe Halderman
Photo by: John P. Filo / CBS; Brad Barket / Getty
New details have emerged about the alleged $2 million extortion plot
against David Letterman.
In a press conference held by Manhattan District Attorney Robert
Morgenthau Friday morning, prosecutors identified the suspect in the
plot as CBS News producer Robert "Joe" Halderman and outlined the case
against him but declined to comment on his possible motives.
Morgenthau said that Halderman, a 48 Hours producer, had been charged
with attempted grand larceny between the period of Sept. 9 and Sept.
The D.A. said that Halderman waited outside Letterman's Manhattan
apartment Sept. 9 at 6 a.m. to give him a package and say that he
needed a "large chunk of money." He was hoping to sell a "screenplay
treatment" and told Letterman that his life was about to collapse
The one-page treatment mentioned "your beautiful loving son" and said
Letterman's "world was about to collapse around him." He also referred
to "ruined reputation and severe damage to his professional and family
Halderman allegedly said he should contact Letterman by 8 a.m. to
further discuss the matter. Letterman immediately called his lawyer.
Halderman and the lawyer met at the Essex House hotel on Sept. 15, at
which point Halderman allegedly attempted to extort $2 million from
Letterman, 62, in exchange for keeping quiet about sexual activity
between the Late Show host and female employees of his program.
One of the women at the center of the case is Stephanie Birkitt,
Letterman's former assistant, according to the search warrant obtained
by FOX 5 New York. The warrant says Birkitt was Halderman's
On The Late Show Thursday night, Letterman admitted to having "had sex
with women who work with me on this show" and said that he had
testified against his alleged extortionist before a grand jury earlier
The warrant says that the package Halderman sent Letterman – who
married longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko in March – contained copies
of parts of a diary and correspondence belonging to Birkitt.
An arraignment is scheduled for Friday at 2:15 p.m.
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