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Big Time Celebs and Extortion


I usually watch the Late Show w/ David Letterman but for whatever reason, did not last night. So I wake up and watch the CBS Early Show this morning and see a clip of Dave talking about how someone was trying to use extortion as a means to extract $2 million dollars from him:

On his late night talk show Thursday, David Letterman shocked fans by revealing that someone tried to extort him over "sexual relationships" he had with female employees.

"This morning, I did something I've never done in my life," Letterman, 62, told his audience. "I had to go downtown and testify before a grand jury."

He said he had received a package from an individual who claimed to have information on his flingsandnbsp; with female employees and threatened to go to the press unless Letterman handed over $2 million.

Letterman contacted the Manhattan District Attorney's office, who launched an investigation.

Investigators advised Letterman to mail a phony $2 million check to the individual, which led to the extortionist's arrest on Thursday. Police have identified Robert Halderman, 51, an Emmy Award-winning producer, as a suspect.

Asked if he had sexual relationships, "My response to that is, yes I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would," Letterman told his audience. "I feel like I need to protect these people - I need to certainly protect my family."


And John Travolta recently had to testify in front of a Bahamian court that someone was trying to blackmail him right after the death of his son (which is foul in the foulest sense of foul).

I personally like the way that David Letterman handled it. He didn't have to put himself on blast like that in front of a live audience, as well as millions of viewers. I suppose this goes down as being "the best defense is a good offense". He could've let it play out behind the scenes but he chose to shed light on it himself. No saint, of course, but a good strategy nonetheless and I do think it shows integrity on his part, considering the circumstances.

I wouldn't want to be famous. I think that would suck... Rich? Maybe. Famous? Naaaw.


RoeDapple 8 years, 4 months ago

Too late Mel, you are already becoming famous as a LJW blogger/poster!

If someone is being blackmailed for sums into six or seven figures there is no way that kind of money could change hands without explanation. If a crime has been committed, if an adulterous act has taken place or for whatever reason this extortion is being attempted, the victims will be found out anyway. It only makes sense to go public to bring these blackmailers to justice, otherwise they would be back for more when the money ran out. Although I'm not a fan of Letterman I do think he did the right thing by going to the police in this matter. Going totally public will make any other would-be extortionist reconsider who he is victimizing

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

I am amazed that anyone finds Letterman worth defending. He has always been offensive, he has devolved into a snob, he is a mysogynist, he defends the indefensible (his own behavior) and, frankly, he is not worth the time it takes to flip channels when he comes on air. He is the epitome of what is wrong with the public image of my generation. IMHO, Letterman is lower than a snake, and deserves the perfect punishment (loss of audience) that is coming to him for his disgusting, self-indulgent, self-adulating behavior. No wonder Letterman fawns over Obama: one psychotic narcissist appreciating, and promoting, another.

RoeDapple 8 years, 4 months ago

Top 10 reasons Letterman came clean on blackmailing... (from NYP article)

1.) He didn't want the scandal to end up on Page Six.

2.) Why should Paul Shaffer get all the action?

3.) To steal the thunder from Sarah Palin's new book.

4.) Ratings, ratings, ratings.

5.) With Leno out of the way, figures his only competition is skin-emax.

6.) He's updating a popular show segment: Stupid Petting Tricks.

7.) He caught his wife watching Conan O'Brien.

8.) He's trying to pick a fight with Newark's mayor.

9.) Needed to fill the time because John McCain blew off the show.

10.) Is thinking of changing his production company name to 'Worldwide Drop-Your-Pants.

beatrice 8 years, 4 months ago

RoeD, that was just too good to give it a simple LOL! "Stupid Petting Tricks" -- superbly funny. Exceptional take on the Top Ten list. Well done!

Godot is a poster in search of a life. Seriously, turning this story about sex with co-workers and extortion (Letterman was the victim, by the way) into yet another rant about Obama? Please. At least have the decency to make it into a Bill Clinton rant.

boo hoo, your side lost already, boo hoo. Deal with it.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

roe, you're the best, darling. and you missed your calling: you should be in h-town writing jokes for the big shots! :)

RoeDapple 8 years, 4 months ago

bea and Mel I'd like to take credit for it but it came from a NYT (not NYP) article..


Mel Briscoe 8 years, 4 months ago

oh, well, as far as i'm concerned, you're still clever as a fox. :)

beatrice 8 years, 4 months ago

Roed, how did I miss that you lifted the article? I just saw the list without spotting the quite clearly posted citation! Maybe it's because I read the list from bottom to top, or perhaps jaywalker has been right all this time and I really don't have the reading comprehension skills of a second grader.

Oh well. I still appreciate your having posted it. At least I figured you capable of such comic genius. That must count for something. ;~)

Ronda Miller 8 years, 4 months ago

"(Letterman was the victim, by the way)" - he was no victim...he went public and got a ton of attention for it....and think of all the 'victims' who work for him who were taken advantage of. He should be hit with a dozen sexual harassment suits and forced to go bankrupt...the man needs to learn to keep his fly zipped and his tongue in his mouth.

beatrice 8 years, 4 months ago

Ronda, Letterman was the victim of an attempted extortion. Sorry you don't find that to be a crime with victims.

To the rest of your charge against him, has anyone stepped forward who worked for Letterman claiming to have been taken advantage of? Anyone saying that he forced women with threats of job loss if they didn't knock knees with the gap-toothed jokester? Anyone even making claims of unwanted advances?

Further, do you honestly believe that every boss, male or female, who has sex with someone who works beneath them should have sexual harassment suits brought against them and they should be forced into bankruptcy? Outside of the attempted extortion, were any other crimes committed? The crime of adultery might have been committed, but I'm not sure that is one worthy of bankrupting someone. (How full would the courts be if it were?)

It seems to me that you are letting your dislike of the man cloud your judgment of the situation. For instance, did you get anywhere near this worked up when actual sexual harassment charges were brought up against Bill O'Reilly by a co-working underling? He is still on tv and I don't see you going off on O'Reilly. If harassment charges had been filed against Letterman before this, then I'd be on your side. They weren't, so I can't be. It appears to be instances of adults making adult decisions, even though they are not the best of decisions.

On the face of it, since no sexual harassment charges have been levied against Letterman prior to this, it seems to be a case of another man having sexual relations outside his own relationship. Men are capable of being pigs -- what a shocker! However, his sexual endeavors are a private matter between Letterman and his wife, and it is up to them to determine if he should keep his fly zipped. It is not up to you, or me. For some reason that escapes me, some women will put up with that type of behavior in thier personal relationships. Like John Edwards and John McCain, David Letterman is a cheater. I suspect Letterman's wife knew what type of man he was all along.

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