The David Letterman Blackmail, Sex Scandal: What's Your Take?

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No matter how you felt about David Letterman prior to his role in a recent extortion plot, or how you feel about him now that he's admitted to an affair with a staffer, we can all agree on one thing:

The talk show host's public admission was gripping television.

Countless celebrities have been caught in sex scandals; but we can't recall a single one that sat for 10 minutes in front of the camera and a stunned studio audience - as the host of a comedic program, no less - and divulged the details of his affair in such a manner.

We're not condoning Letterman's behavior, nor are we condemning it. We're simply struck by how unique this situation is.

Over the next few days, it's safe to assume Letterman's behavior will be scrutinized by the media, fans and detractors. There will likely be two, contrasting schools of thought regarding his actions, summed up below:

Anti-Dave: He's a liar and a hypocrite. He's made numerous jokes over the years about cheating politicians, and he's no better than any of them. Moreover, he slept with an Stephanie Birkitt, an underling, raising questions of sexual harassment at work.

Pro-Dave: He's a comedian. His job is to make us laugh, not to set some paradigm of moral behavior. From Michael Jordan to Bill Clinton to Brad Pitt, the number of celebrities that have had affairs might outweigh those that have not. Moreover, Letterman's cantankerous, self-important reputation was well-known for years. Everyone familiar with him agrees that his heart attack in 2000 and the birth of his son in 2004 truly changed Dave for the better; the infidelity took place prior to the latter event.

The Hollywood Gossip staff members are open fans of Letterman, and we can't deny this story soils his reputation a bit in our eyes.

However, as mentioned above, if we were to judge every famous person that cheated on his/her significant other, we'd scarcely have time for anything else. The fact that Letterman stared into the camera and owned up to his behavior - not because he had a book to sell, nor because he owes his viewers any detail about his personal lie - does say something about the man.

Sit on your high horse if you wish, but Dave has never claimed he's perfect (far, far from it, in fact; self-deprecation is a major part of his act). Over the past few years, this upsetting admission included, he's connected with viewers in more human ways that maybe any other person on TV. His affair is between him and Regina Lasko and no one else.

That's how we feel about the story. What about YOU? Leave a comment. Let us know.


David Letterman was the manager of these employees. This behavior by an employer is unacceptable. In private industry or government he would lose his job. He was in a position of power over those he was sexually involved with. What about the other employees who worked for him, were all employees treated equally--- I doubt it. Has anyone asked his other employees how they feel? Somehow in his arrogance he would like to be seen as the victim of a blackmailer when the truth is he is not the victim. He was forced into the truth by a blackmailer.


Ho, hum. Another American celebrity caught with his pants down. It doesn't matter who has been caught whether it be a politician or an actor, Letterman is just another fine example of a morally degenerate society going to hell. Have a nice trip!


I think it took lots of guts for dave to confess his sins rather than give in to extortion. Has anyone recognized that? Blackmail is criminal. He could have just paid the guy off and kept it quiet, but he didn't.


David Letterman is a witty, thoughtful, dignified, sexy, exciting, hilarious entertainer. Oh, and apparently human. Wouldn't a true professional blackmaler ask for the traditional small denomination, unmarked bills?


It's disturbing to me that he used his affair as a commedy bit. If he was going to confess on live TV, I would have had more respect for him if he had introduced the confession with a prologue stating that what he was about to say was serious. The fact that he made light of it, send me the message that he really did not think he did anything unethical. I believe it was unethical since he was in a committed relationship and the other woman was a much younger, much lower level employee. I do believe it was avery cunning PR move but it has changed my opinion of him. Plus the fact that he seems to have indicated this happened more than once, is even worse.


Who cares? He had sex with what? So they were secret what? He's not a preacher. He's not the president. He's just a comedian/entertainer. Why should he be any different than all the other entertainers who have had and are having affairs? I'll say it again: WHO CARES!


CBS is so messed up!! Maybe this is a tacky attempt to get their ratings up?


I feel that David should have informed the audience beforehand that his monologue would have a serious tone, and not confuse the audience by having them think it was business as usual. I live in LA and nothing about celebrity life shocks me, but the people in the New York audience that applauded and laughed must feel silly, uncomfortable or sorry that they reacted that way. I know I would have if placed in that situation. David Letterman should not throw stones. The Sarah Palin incident really disturbed me.


"He sadly exemplifies the degradation of our society by these people." As do Politicians, Religious Leaders and so forth...


He's a creep. You don't s--t where you eat. It's a power trip on his part. He sadly exemplifies the degradation of our society by these people.

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David Letterman Biography

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David Letterman hosts our favorite late-night talk show. His top 10 lists are always good for a laugh. In the summer of 2009, he got into... More »
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