David Letterman Felt "Threatened" Over Extortion Attempt
David Letterman said he felt "threatened, alarmed and concerned" over attempts to extort him over his sexual affairs with female employees, newly released court documents reveal.
The documents, obtained by the AP, said that the Late Show host felt threatened "about the impact of the disclosure of his personal information on his family life and career."
Letterman's alleged blackmailer, CBS News employee Robert J. Halderman, sent a package of materials to Letterman saying he was desperate to "make a large chunk of money" and that he had "a lot more" evidence to back up the allegations, according to search warrant affidavits.
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Court documents say the package contained a demand letter, photos, personal correspondence, a treatment for a screenplay and portions of a diary. The diary is allegedly that of Halderman's former girlfriend, who carried on an affair with Letterman.
The documents only refer to Letterman as "Client No. 1" and describe him as a person whose "world is about to collapse around him." "Client No. 1" is also described as a public person with "great professional success" who now must deal with the threat of "a ruined reputation."
Halderman had access to other evidence, such as photos, letters and e-mails, according to authorities. Additionally, computer equipment, a camera memory card, photos, banking information, a magazine featuring Letterman and more were all seized by authorities from the 48 Hours Mystery producer's home.
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Authorities said Halderman first left an envelope in Letterman's car Sept. 9, and that Letterman acknowledged it included proof of his sexual liaisons with staffers. After that, Halderman met with Letterman's attorney three times, and eventually received a fake check for $2 million. He was arrested after he deposited the check.
Letterman first came clean about his affairs with employees on his Oct. 1 show. Halderman has pleaded not guilty to the extortion charges. Halderman's lawyer would not comment on the court documents.