Joe Halderman Posts Bail After Pleading Not Guilty in Letterman Scandal

By K.R. Gomez on October 2, 2009

NEW YORK — "48 Hours" producer Robert "Joe" Halderman has posted bail after pleading not guilty Friday to an extortion plot against David Letterman.

Halderman, 52, posted the $200,000 bail and was released from custody after his not guilty plea to a felony charge of attempted grand larceny, the Associated Press reports.

Prosecutors claim that Halderman blackmailed the TV host in September by threatening to go public with information about Letterman having sex with "Late Show" staff members. He allegedly demanded $2 million in order to remain silent.

If convicted, the Emmy-winning Halderman faces up to 16 years in prison.

Letterman revealed the scheme during Thursday's broadcast, calling the situation a "very bizarre experience."

"This morning, I did something I've never done in my life," said Letterman. "I had to go downtown and testify before a grand jury."

"I was worried for myself, I was worried for my family," he continued. "I felt menaced by this, and I had to tell them all of the creepy things that I had done ... The creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show. My response to that is, yes I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would."

Prosecutors contend that Halderman is in debt and likely hatched the plan to escape financial troubles. Court records reveal that he is on the hook for $6,800 a month in child and spousal support to his ex-wife, Patty Montet, with whom he has two children, ages 11 and 18.

"The evidence is compelling," Assistant District Attorney Judy Salwen told the judge Friday. "It shows the defendant is desperate, and he is capable of doing anything."