The person who allegedly tried to extort $2 million from talk show host David Letterman in exchange for keeping his affairs with NBC staff secret is not, as we expected, Sarah Palin, but Robert Joe Halderman, a producer for 48 Hours. Newsday says he also served as “a reporter on sensitive and difficult subjects, both for the news mag and for independent documentaries,” and elsewhere as a director (Three Days, with Julia Roberts). Apparently Halderman has been arrested on charges of first degree attempted grand larceny after a grand jury investigation.
In announcing this bizarre news to his audience on yesterday’s show (video above), Letterman said the perp threatened to put his story into a movie screenplay (Documentary? Romcom?) as well as a book, and declined to name any of the women with whom he slept (which malfeasances he described as “creepy” and “terrible”), although speculation on their identitites has already begun.
It was a neat trick to keep this quiet until an arrest was made and he could make jokes about it on national TV, as this puts attention on the alleged extortionist rather than on Letterman’s affairs. Letterman was married in March to the mother of his child, Regina Lasko. Photo (cc) Rubenstein.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 2, 2009