Producer Pleads Guilty in David Letterman Blackmail Case

By Dave Paris on March 9, 2010

David Letterman, blackmail, case, scandal, pictures, picture, photos, photo, pics, pic, images, image, hot, sexy, latest, new, 2010NEW YORK — Robert "Joe" Halderman, the man accused of trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted grand larceny in a Manhattan courtroom.

The former 48 Hours producer was sentenced to six months in prison and 1,000 hours of community service for attempting to blackmail the late-night host in exchange for keeping quiet about Letterman's affair with a staffer, the Associated Press reports.

"I feel great remorse for what I have done," the 52-year-old Emmy winner told the court.

The scandal began when the Halderman delivered a package to Letterman on Sept. 9, demanding money because he knew about the host having a sexual relationship with his one-time girlfriend, Stephanie Birkitt, who also worked on the Late Show.

Letterman responded by immediately contacting his attorney, who in turn met Halderman at the Essex House hotel on Sept. 15. At the meeting, Halderman attempted to blackmail the star in exchange for keeping quiet.

The married Letterman revealed the scheme during an Oct. 1 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 said Halderman hatched the plan to escape financial troubles after splitting with his ex-wife, Patty Montet, with whom he has two children.