Joe Halderman Attorney: 'I Look Forward to Cross-Examining David Letterman'

By Rich King on October 5, 2009

LOS ANGELES — The attorney for the "48 Hours" producer accused of trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman is anxious to go head-to-head with the "Late Show" host.

"I look forward to cross-examining David Letterman," Gerald Shargel, the lawyer for Robert "Joe" Halderman, told Ann Curry during an interview on Monday's "Today Show." "If you only hear David Letterman's side of the story, take it at face value and say, 'Turn off the sets, that Halderman's guilty' — I think that's plain wrong."

Halderman pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of attempted grand larceny after Letterman shocked viewers one night earlier by disclosing the scheme. Prosecutors claim that Halderman blackmailed the TV star in September by threatening to go public with information about Letterman having sex with members of his staff. The 62-year-old host admitted to the sexual flings on a platform that Shargel contends offered a distorted view of the facts.

"The public should not rush to judgment. The public should not simply take the word of David Letterman," said Shargel, who believes the prosecution's case against Halderman "makes absolutely no sense."

The interview then got a bit heated when Curry noted that Shargel now had a public forum of his own to defend his client.

"You know what? David didn't give his side of the story," the attorney replied. "David Letterman said what he wanted the public to know, he wanted to get out ahead of the story, and that's exactly what he did."

 

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