Letterman Reveals Extortion Attempt

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #1
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/03/business/media/03extort.html?em

    The Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, saying his office would not tolerate extortion against “anyone rich or poor,” announced charges Friday morning against a CBS employee, Robert Joel Halderman, who is accused of trying to extort $2 million from the late-night talk show host David Letterman.

    Mr. Letterman first revealed the extortion attempt on “The Late Show,” on CBS on Thursday night, describing how he had been approached by a person who wanted $2 million from him not to go public with information that Mr. Letterman had been in sexual relationships with women who work on his show.

    Mr. Letterman admitted to the relationships on air, as he said he also did to a grand jury, but revealed that he had alerted the district attorney’s office immediately after receiving the first demand last month.

    Mr. Halderman, an Emmy Award-winning producer for the CBS program “48 Hours Mystery” was arrested outside the CBS studios in Manhattan on Thursday and charged on one count of first-degree attempted grand larceny, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. He will be arraigned on Friday afternoon at Manhattan State Supreme Court.

    “New York will not tolerate the coercion or extortion of anyone, be the victim rich or poor, famous or anonymous,” Mr. Morgenthau said at a news conference from his office on Friday.

    Mr. Morgenthau detailed an elaborate investigation, which included a series of three meetings between Mr. Letterman’s lawyers and Mr. Halderman last month. In the second and third meetings, which were not attended by Mr. Letterman, his lawyers wore a recording device. Mr. Letterman had signed a fake $2 million check to Mr. Halderman on Wednesday, who attempted to cash it on Thursday morning in Connecticut. Mr. Halderman was arrested shortly after that.

    He said Mr. Halderman had given Mr. Letterman a letter threatening that his “world is about to collapse around him” and that he would have a “ruined reputation” once details of his private life were disclosed.

    The district attorney declined to provide details about the motive Mr. Halderman might have had for the alleged extortion, nor the “personal and private information” Mr. Halderman claimed to know.
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    #2
    I can't wait for...
    Top Ten Reasons Not to Have Sex With Your Subordinate Employees

    I'm sure it could be funny, but the truth is sad.
     
  3. zephead macrumors 68000

    zephead

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    #3
    While that's obviously a pretty slimy thing to be doing in the first place, I say Letterman handled the situation pretty well. Instead of the douche trying to ruin him having all the leverage, Letterman just came out and said it and bam - no more leverage. Plus the guy thought he made off with a real $2 million check, but he fell right into the trap! Serves him right!
     
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    Interesting story, but Letterman made the best play - clear the air and call the extortionist's bluff.

    He and his wife need to have a little chat now, though....
     
  5. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #5
    I would have accepted nothing short of a cashier's check if I was going to blackmail someone. Cash would have been better; non-sequential and unmarked and in small denominations would have been ideal. Not that I'm into extortion business.:p A check can be stopped by the payee anytime before it clears. A check that amount would require several days, at least, to clear.

    The thing I find hard to wrap my head around is that someone would sleep with Letterman.:eek::p:p;) I wonder if it was "Monty" aka "Dutch" aka "Gunter" aka "Kitty":p I'm thinking: Not.
     
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #6
    I don't know how this guy thought this extortion attempt would work. Celebrity has sex outside of marriage, I am so shocked:rolleyes:. If you want to blackmail a celebrity it needs to be proof that they only have strictly monogamous relationships.;)

    He is rich and famous. For some that is reason enough.
     
  7. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    and the realism is that more than likely his image will take less of a hit if this had been leaked and he denied denied denied, etc. As a brand, smart move, and the relationship part will have to figure itself out.
     
  8. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    #8
    Not condoning what Dave did, but he handled this perfectly. I doubt this will effect him at all.

    Does it seem odd to anyone else that the blackmailer took a check?

    Maybe I have seen too many movies, but I would have expected someone to demand cash. I guess $2M in cash would be alot of cash, but still.

    I guess since Dave knew who he was, he didn't care about the paper trail?
     
  9. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    sometime criminals are smart and it does pay, sadly this is not the case. Who doesn't know that taking a check when your doing something illegal is a boneheaded move? Probably why this thing got blown up in the first place.

     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #11
    Didn't make much difference. A blackmailer who is known to his victim can only get away with it if the victim doesn't call the police (and doesn't take any other, more drastic, action).
     
  11. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #12
    Workplace relationships are common. In this case it's a boss abusing his position. One relationship may have been a fluke, but he had sex with more than one woman who worked on his show. Letterman admitted to them which was smart.

    I wonder if the employee that Halderman lived with was one of Letterman's conquests? Seems like something personal. The extortion attempt was downright stupid.
     
  12. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #13
    I don't admire Letterman's philandering, but I do admire the way he handled this situation.

    What really gets me is the way the audience took it when he made what must have been a very painful and embarrassing admission: they laughed. In at least three inappropriate parts of Dave's confession. Dave is clearly annoyed at one point where he asks, "Now why is that funny?" Never lost his temper though.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5357358n&tag=api

    This whole affair will be fodder for the Palinistas, but it won't hurt his career.
     
  13. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #14
    +1

    you are so correct - with so many 'celebrities/athletes' getting caught lying, it was refreshing to hear one of them come out and be honest ahead of time.

    I'm not condoning the sleeping with employees, but if this was before his wife, no biggee.

    And i'm sure he told his wife what he was going to do.

    Wouldn't you love to have seen video of that guy when he heard Letterman starting that conversation on TV? I bet he was thinking, "Oh f***...you sonofab****" Then, "Oh oh...i should be leaving right about now." Oh no...there are the po-lice. "

    doh!
     
  14. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #15
    It could be, but not necessarily. What's unique about this over a typical workplace environment is that Letterman is a celebrity. It's very possible he didn't have to use his position as the boss to make any of this happen.
     
  15. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #16
    Ditto. The haters will hate him more. The fans will love him more. And the people who didn't care before still won't care.
     
  16. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    Perhaps, but his wife is also one of his former employees, so I hardly expect that she is so naive as to believe he didn't have other dalliances.

    Remember, he lived with her for many years, and they even produced a child together (the adorable Harry), before they got married.
     
  17. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #18
    Possibly. But ethical bosses don't sleep around with multiple employees.
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #19
    Excuse me, but no harm, no foul.

    They had every opportunity to file sexual harassment charges against him.

    Do you have some knowledge that the rest of us do not possess??
     
  19. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #20
    No. I'm not talking about the legality of his behavior.
     
  20. Mac Kiwi macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I wonder what possible divorce might end up costing him,if she {his wife} is mega pissed that is.


    The extortionist will find a way of still getting the skinny on Dave into the public domain.
     
  21. electroshock macrumors 6502a

    electroshock

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    #22
    Well, the blackmailer was sorta right. Sorta. Only, it was his own world that collapsed, rather than Letterman's.
     
  22. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #23
    Latest info:

    So barring other revelations, no sexual harassment, and no philandering after his marriage. Still not nice, considering he had a long-term relationship with Ms. Lasko, but as scandals go, this seems pretty mild.

    As to how women would want to be in a relationship with Dave, it goes beyond him being rich and famous. He's obviously very funny, which characteristic is quite attractive to women, and this event aside, he's said to be a very nice guy.

    BTW, if they ever re-make the movie "Dick Tracy", that district attorney has the role of Mumbles.
     
  23. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #24
    I don't think the crowd knew what to do, you could hear it get uncomfortable halfway through.
    I'm sure Dave has a fairly strong pre-nup. As for the producer, his dirty laundry is going to get aired out more than Dave's.
     

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