David Letterman said he regrets telling jokes about Sarah Palin's daughter after the Alaska governor called them "sexually perverted" and her husband, Todd, called them "despicable."
On Wednesday's Late Show, Letterman repeated the jokes in question. He denied that they referred to the Palins' 14-year-old daughter — as the Palins' his-and-hers statements seemed to indicate (see below) — but rather their 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, who, as Letterman pointed out, "was knocked up."
"Were the jokes in question in questionable taste? Of course they were," Letterman said. "Would I do anything to advocate or contribute to underage sexual abuse or misconduct? Absolutely not, not in a thousand years."
On Monday's Palin-themed Top Ten list, Letterman joked that the governor went to Bloomingdales' to buy makeup to "update her 'slutty flight attendant' look." Then, on Tuesday, he joked about the Palins keeping their daughter away from Eliot Spitzer. And then there was this, about the family's visit to a Yankees game: "There was one awkward moment during the seventh-inning stretch when her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez," he said.
The Palins' his-and-hers statements about the jokes:
From Todd Palin: "Any 'jokes' about raping my 14-year-old are despicable. Alaskans know it and I believe the rest of the world knows it, too."
From Gov. Sarah Palin: "Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands — that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.'"
In closing, Letterman invited the Palins to return to New York to appear on the show. "Or, leave Todd at home," he joked. (Watch Letterman's full response here.)