David Letterman's Lawyer Wore Wire to Get Evidence re Alleged Extortion Attempt

When a 48 Hours producer allegedly tried to extort $2 million from David Letterman last month by threatening to go public about the late-night television show host’s now-admitted sexual relationships with women employees, Letterman called his lawyer.

And the unidentified attorney came through, first setting up a meeting with Robert “Joe” Halderman, 51, at a hotel, then contacting the office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and, at its request, wearing a wire to a second meeting with Halderman, reports the New York Daily News.

A third meeting between the two men, at which the lawyer allegedly handed Halderman a fake check for $2 million, was recorded by police in an adjacent room in the hotel, Morgenthau says.

Yesterday morning, Letterman testified before a grand jury about the claimed blackmail attempt by Halderman. And, the 62-year-old Letterman told his Late Show audience last night in an extraordinary live monologue, he had indeed “had sex with women who work for me on this show,” the Daily News reports.

Halderman was arrested yesterday and charged with one count of attempted grand larceny after he allegedly deposited the $2 million check in his Connecticut bank account. If convicted, he could be sentenced to as much as five to 15 years in prison.

He is represented by celebrity lawyer Gerald Shargel, who spoke with reporters outside the Manhattan Supreme Court this afternoon, following Halderman’s not guilty plea and release on $200,000 bail, reports the New York Post.

“This story is far more complicated than what you heard this afternoon,” said Shargel.

Additional coverage:

Dish Rag (Los Angeles Times): “David Letterman admits to sex with staffers; extortion suspect arrested”

Gawker: “Gawker Exclusive: Letterman Said to Pay Assistant’s Law School Bill”

Variety: “Letterman reveals extortion attempt”

Washington Post: “Letterman Admits Affairs In $2 Million Extortion Case”

Updated at 4:20 p.m. to include New York Post coverage about Halderman’s arraignment.

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