Report: David Letterman's Affair with Stephanie Birkitt Led to Extortion Scandal

By Chloe Bunker on October 6, 2009

LOS ANGELES — A jealous boyfriend led to a plot for revenge against David Letterman, according to new details in the "Late Show" host's extortion scandal.

Sources tell the New York Post that Letterman's ongoing affair with Stephanie Birkitt led to her live-in boyfriend, "48 Hours" producer Robert "Joe" Halderman, seeking to get even with the TV star. Birkitt, a former "Late Show" staff member, allegedly kept a diary that contained details of her ongoing sexual relationship with Letterman, which Halderman first read in December.

Up until then, Halderman was under the impression that Letterman and Birkitt were simply good friends. In fact, at least once a week Letterman would give Birkitt a ride to the Norwalk, Conn. home she shared with Halderman, who divorced his wife in 2004.

According to the Post, the secret lovers also went hiking together last fall at Letterman's expansive Montana ranch, the same site of his March wedding to longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko.

Letterman also allegedly offered Birkitt a job as his "personal lawyer" after she graduated from Benjamin Cardozo Law School in June 2008. Halderman often worried about the close-knit friends, but Birkitt would ensure her boyfriend that it was simply "a platonic relationship," a source said.

Halderman pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of attempted grand larceny. On Monday, his attorney, Gerald Shargel, told Ann Curry on the "Today Show" that the public shouldn't rush to judgement in the case.

"I look forward to cross-examining David Letterman," said Shargel. "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."