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Legal experts around the country are in disagreement as to how comedian David Letterman should have handled threats of extortion against him. Some think it was wise to contact the authorities right from the start while others think it could have been handled in a more private manner.

Details of the bizarre story emerged last week when Letterman divulged some of the details on his late night show. He told the audience that someone had given him a package that contained information that showed that Letterman had engaged in sexual activity with some of the females that work for him on the show. It was later revealed that the person in question was a producer for the television show 48 Hours by the name of Robert “Joe” Halderman. In exchange for keeping quiet, Halderman demanded $2 million from Letterman.

Letterman immediately contacted his attorney who met with Halderman at the Essex House hotel. After three meetings with Letterman’s lawyer, Halderman was arrested on September 30 when he tried to cash the $2 million check. Halderman is said to have learned of Letterman’s affairs through his former girlfriend, Stephanie Birkitt, who was Letterman’s former assistant.

When Letterman revealed this information to his audience last week they thought he was kidding and some people even laughed. The staff was not told ahead of time what was happening so they were unprepared as well. From the moment Letterman dropped the bombshell that is all people have been talking about.

Criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos believes that Letterman could have handled things a lot more discreetly. He has handled several cases for celebrities and high profile people and claims that he has never had to shell out any money for extortion cases once you let the blackmailer know that he or she is committing a crime.

Besides the legal ramifications, Geragos feels that Letterman has left himself wide open to being the butt of jokes, criticism for his behavior and backlash from people who believe that he is guilty of sexual harassment, something that is taken very seriously in today’s society.

On the other side of the fence is professional crisis manager Eric Dezenhall who feels that sometimes it is best to go right to the authorities, especially if you are dealing with an amateur. He claims that there are ways to legally demand money from celebrities without really breaking the law. He has had his share of clients whom he has had to protect but he wouldn’t name any names.

Extortion demands against high profile personalities are certainly nothing new. Bill Cosby had to admit to an extramarital affair years ago and most recently John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston were victims of a cruel request for money in exchange for keeping details of their son’s death quiet.

The fate of Letterman’s career and marriage are on the line and it is anyone’s guess as to how they will play out. He apologized on his show to the women on his staff and especially his wife of five years, Regina.


  1. Gravatar for Alessandra

    Bring Letterman into a trial, the quicker, the better! Let's show the world how much liberals stink, in the private and public spheres of their lives. That's all there is to this.

    If Halderman didn't get his 2M with the "movie script," he just might get it through a settlement, paid to avoid having the issue on trial.

    If Letterman is such a victim (extortion, boohoo), bring the trial on! We're waiting...specially for the cross-examination.

    And, please let's stop with the clueless wife thing. No woman spends twenty years with a slime of guy without knowing what he really is like. She is probably just like him or the rest of his "girls"...

  2. Gravatar for Kay

    Alessandra is a classic example of why problems are difficult to resolve these days. People like her are not able to have a rational discussion about anything because they HATE anyone who is not exactly like them. They are so filled with HATE for anyone who thinks or looks differently from them. Notice the generalization - ALL liberals stink. And here she is, rooting for the extortionist just because she thinks he's a conservatine republican! Typical conservative - it's OK to commit a crime if you are a conservative, but not if you are a liberal!

  3. Gravatar for Alessandra

    Kay, your comments about me are nothing but HATEFUL. You HATE anyone who doesn't think the way you do, who isn't a slime like the liberals you defend. You're full of HATE and people like you are the reason why there are so many ugly problems in marriages, sexuality, and society today.

    I thought Halderman is a conservative?? Haha! Everyone so far in this scandal has proved to be a liberal--like you! All of you sorry liberals are providing us the laughs concerning how slimy liberals are. We're just sitting here with the popcorn.

    The reason stupid liberals can't understand why Halderman's "extorsion" is so lovely is because it exposes how much Letterman and all his liberal cohorts stink. You know, the kind of things you like to lie about and cover up, because they stink so much!

    BTW, did you get ahead in your job the "Letterman" way? Is that why my comments made you so upset?

  4. Gravatar for Alessandra

    and Halderman, in his first appearance to the press after his arrest said something like, "as you can see, I'm not hiding, and I'm not fleeing anywhere." In other words, "I'm not afraid."

    How interesting for someone who has been arrested and accused of extorsion.

    My guess: Dave's little monologue version of the events is probably 99% omissions and distortions.

    Let the little extorsion victim bring on the trial! We're waiting...

  5. I am having a hard time finding the "liberal" and "conservative" in this story. Sexual harrassment isn't that kind of an issue is it? Accountability is a good thing though and the curt room allows the evidence to come out in an open and fair way that isn't controlled by a PR department. Cross examination isn't about speeches and statements, its about about answering the tough question with no place to hide. The jury of 12 angry citizens (I would love to see a jury composed of Allessandra's and Kay's but perhaps they would not make it through the selection process. The jury would certainly have both liberals and conservatives in its composition. I doubt that they would get to Allessandra's extreme political approach but maybe one or two would be there. Allesandra, would you feel the same if Letterman were actually Mark Sanford? I hope so because if not then you are losing me, because sexual harrassment, and men using job power to extract sex from women, is a brutally serious subject for a lot of women who aren't working for Talk Show hosts.

  6. Gravatar for Alessandra

    I am having a hard time finding the "liberal" and "conservative" in this story. Sexual harrassment isn't that kind of an issue is it?


    1st point: Are you sure you have not purposefully muddled the two concepts into one indistinguishable nonsense? Liberal attitudes and values about family, marriage, and sexuality profoundly clash with social conservative ones. A person who shuns and disdains the idea of a monogamous marriage, or who is promiscuous, or who betrays their partner, or who has behaviors which constitute different forms of sexual harrassment is not a social conservative.

    This scandal is exactly about issues which differentiate liberals from social conservatives.

    "I am having a hard time finding the "liberal" and "conservative" in this story. Sexual harrassment isn't that kind of an issue is it?"

    2nd point:

    Are you equating "liberals" to Democrat voters, and "conservatives" to Republican voters? If so, I would agree with you, since there are quite a number of Republicans which are very liberal when it comes to family, sexuality, and marriage. These people are not social conservatives, however, they are simply Republican "Lettermans."

    I am not using "social conservative" as a synonym of "conservative," I am highlighting a very important distinction between the two.

  7. Gravatar for Alessandra

    " I doubt that they would get to Allessandra's extreme political approach "

    What is my "extreme" political approach?

  8. Gravatar for Alessandra

    "Allesandra, would you feel the same if Letterman were actually Mark Sanford?"

    To answer your questions even more clearly, the day this piece of homosexual turd called Mark Foley is thrown into a sewer, I'll be happy. Berslusconi is a pig. Frederic Mitterrand is criminal. Bill Clinton is a (can't say it on here). Larry Craig is another piece of crap. Eliot Spitzer? Matthew Joseph Elliott? John Bryan? Fortunately the latter two killed themselves. And I didn't even mention so many women who are nothing but accessories or supporters of everything these kinds of men do, when they don't do it themselves. And do these men live on a deserted island? So many people support or condone the ugliest deeds simply because it was perpetrated by a friend.

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