Photo Credit: CBS
David Letterman's ordeal with a CBS employee-turned-blackmailer has finally ended. Yesterday in a Manhattan courtroom, Robert "Joe" Halderman, pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny, according to People. Halderman, 52, who originally pleaded not guilty, will serve six months in prison as a result of his attempts to extort $2 million from the Late Show host.
Last fall, Halderman -- also sentenced to five years probation plus 1,000 hours of community service in addition to his jail time -- had threatened to go public with proof of Letterman's extramarital affair with Late Show staffer Stephanie Burkitt if the TV star did not pay his demands. The attempted extortion prompted Letterman, 62, to make an on-air confession about his indiscretions to viewers, as well as a public apology to his wife, Regina Lasko, with whom Letterman has a 6-year-old son.
Letterman, who immediately contacted police when Halderman made the threats, said last night on his broadcast, "I was concerned and full of anxiety and nervous and worried. And the people in the District Attorney’s office said, ‘This will be handled professionally, this will be handled skillfully, and appropriately.'"
The talk-show host thanked those in the District Attorney's office who helped and added, "Well, the matter was resolved today, and they were exactly right -- it was handled professionally, skillfully and appropriately."
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said in a statement about Letterman, "By not giving in to the defendant’s extortionate demands for millions of dollars, and instead taking the courageous step of reporting the crime to law enforcement, Mr. Letterman risked the disclosure of certain aspects of his private life," adding, "I commend Mr. Letterman for making the difficult but unquestionably right decision to report this crime to my office and thank him for his full and complete cooperation throughout the investigation and prosecution of the case."
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