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Archive for Tuesday, October 6, 2009

People in the news

October 6, 2009

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Jokes, apologies from Letterman on his show

New York — David Letterman, days after revealing on air that he’d been sexually involved with women from his television program, apologized to his wife on Monday’s “Late Show,” saying she had been “horribly hurt by my behavior.”

The late-night host, building on Thursday’s startling confessional in a potential seminal moment in his storied career, vowed to repair his relationship with his wife, Regina Lasko, whom he married in March after a years-long courtship.

“Let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me,” he said, according to an early transcript of the program released by CBS.

Monday’s show was the first Letterman had taped since Thursday, when he disclosed that he had had sexual relationships with women who worked for him and said that he had been the victim of a $2 million blackmail threat.

All the affairs took place before Letterman’s marriage, said Tom Keaney, spokesman for Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants.

The CBS producer accused of blackmailing Letterman used pages from a former assistant’s diary that described an affair with the “Late Show” host, a law enforcement official said Monday. The ex-assistant, Stephanie Birkitt, went to live with CBS News producer Robert Halderman, who found her diary describing her relationship with Letterman and used it to help blackmail him, the law enforcement official said Monday on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Halderman pleaded not guilty last week to extortion charges.

Jurors see secret tape at John Travolta trial

Nassau, Bahamas — A jury on Monday watched a hidden-camera videotape of negotiations between a lawyer for John Travolta and a former Bahamas senator accused of trying to blackmail the movie star.

The tape shows politician Pleasant Bridgewater telling Travolta’s lawyer that a paramedic who treated the actor’s son wants at least $20 million not to release a private document to the media.

Bridgewater and ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne have pleaded not guilty to extortion charges at the trial, which began Sept. 21.

Lightbourne came to Travolta’s vacation home on Grand Bahama island when the actor’s 16-year-old son Jett suffered a seizure on Jan. 2. He later allegedly threatened to make public a release that Travolta signed to have Jett taken directly to the airport, even though the youth ultimately died at a local hospital and the document never came into play.

Bahamas police set up hidden cameras at a hotel room to capture Bridgewater’s meeting Jan. 19 with Travolta attorney Michael McDermott.

Man accused of filming Andrews is released

Chicago — An Illinois insurance executive accused of secretly making nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews apparently uploaded videos of other unsuspecting nude women to the Internet, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

Michael D. Barrett, 47, of Westmont, was released on $4,500 bond but was ordered to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet, to adhere to a strict curfew and not to use the Internet. He is due in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Oct. 23 to face federal charges of interstate stalking.

Barrett is accused of making the videos by modifying peepholes in hotel room doors, using a hacksaw and a cell phone camera, and then trying to sell them to Los Angeles-based celebrity gossip site TMZ.

Barrett continues to be a danger to Andrews and “a danger to other women,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Grimes told U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys during Barrett’s bond hearing Monday.

“Yes, Judge, there are other women,” Grimes said. “He has used his computer to disseminate these videos to the world.”

Grimes said the government has confiscated two computers and cell phones used by Barrett, and “feels strongly that those items will provide further evidence.”

Kate Gosselin: Jon cleaned out account

New York — Kate Gosselin says her estranged husband has withdrawn $230,000 from their joint bank account, leaving just $1,000 behind, and she can’t pay her bills.

The reality TV personality appeared Monday on NBC’s “Today” show and said she and her husband, Jon, did the show “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” as a way to pay the bills after their sextuplets were born. They already had twins.

She responded to her husband’s allegations last week that their children wanted to stop filming for the show, which takes place mostly in their Pennsylvania home.

She said: “The things you hear him say on TV I have never heard from him. They don’t even sound like his words.”

Gosselin says she doesn’t know what their children said to their father, but when she told them over the weekend that filming would stop, there was “wailing and sobbing.”

Nicole Richie hurt in fender-bender

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Police say reality TV star Nicole Richie has been hurt in a traffic accident in Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Mike Hill says the 28-year-old Richie was driving a Land Rover on Wilshire Boulevard on Monday when she was rear-ended by a photographer who was driving without a license.

Hill says Richie complained of pain but said she would seek her own treatment and no ambulance was called.

He also says the 29-year-old photographer, Edwardo Arrivebene, was arrested on suspicion of driving without a license.

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