CBS News producer arrested in $2 million Letterman extortion plot
Update: CBS News employee pleads not guilty to grand larceny
CBS News’ Robert J. Halderman was arraigned in a Manhattan court on Friday and entered a plea of not guilty when read the charge of grand larceny. The court has set his bail at $200,000, according to the Associated Press.
Following yesterday’s arrest, Letterman confessed to his viewers that he had affairs with female staff members and said his promiscuity had led to an attempt to blackmail him out of some $2 million.
–Original story follows–
WASHINGTON — US talk show host David Letterman admitted in his nightly program on Thursday to having sex with members of his staff, as he detailed an extortionist’s efforts to relieve him of two million dollars.
“I have had sex with women who work on this show,” Letterman told a studio audience in New York which at times appeared unsure whether the confession was part of a skit.
The married 62-year-old said three weeks ago a package appeared in the back seat of his car from a person who demanded two million dollars (1.37 million euros) for keeping knowledge the flings secret.
Letterman went on to explain his decision to report the matter to the authorities, which led to testimony before a grand jury earlier that day. “I had to tell them all of the creepy things I had done,” he said.
“Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would, perhaps it would, and especially for the women,” he joked.
“What you don’t want is a guy saying ‘I know you had sex with women I would like two million dollars or I’m going to make trouble for you,’ so that is where we stand right now.”
He added that the person in question is under arrest.
A report from the New York Daily News this morning reveals that CBS News producer Robert Halderman has been arrested, and held on attempted grand larceny charges. Halderman has directed dozens of “48 Hours” documentaries, from the Winter Olympics to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.”
Letterman, a veteran of the nightly chat shows that are immensely popular in the United States, earlier this month had President Barack Obama as a guest, the first time a sitting president had appeared on the CBS show.
This video is from CBS’ Late Night with David Letterman, broadcast Oct. 1, 2009.
–Diane Sweet contributed to this report.