by Free Britney at . Comments

Robert Halderman, the alleged "mastermind" of a $2 million extortion plot against David Letterman, is just throwing everything at the legal wall at this point.

The CBS News producer is using the Tiger Woods scandal as a precedent to fight the charges against him, which could land him in jail for years if convicted.

Halderman's lawyer, Gerald Shargel, notes in legal papers that when news of Tiger's infidelity surfaced, mistress Rachel Uchitel reportedly signed a multi-million dollar settlement in return for her silence, with the help of Gloria Allred.

Shargel notes, admiringly, "Their behavior was capitalist, not criminal."

The lawyer says Robert Halderman, who is reportedly seeking a plea deal in the case, merely "offered to sell a very marketable story" of Letterman sleeping with Stephanie Birkitt, and that it was a simple business transaction.

Except for the part where he deliberately tried to shake Letterman down.

Rache Pic

It was only a matter of time until these cheating scandals collided.

Shargel says that celebrity misdeeds have "significant fair market value" and they are "routinely suppressed through private business arrangements."

His argument, however thin and stretched, is that Rachel wasn't prosecuted for taking Tiger's money, so why would Halderman for wanting Dave's?

Gloria Allred, for her part, is far from pleased that Halderman's lawyer compared himself to Rachel Uchitel, saying he has no basis to make such claims:

"I have no personal knowledge of his case. He has no personal knowledge and therefore, no basis for remarks about my representation of Ms. Uchitel."

"Mr. Shargel should spend his time representing his client based on facts, rather than comparing it to matters of which he has no personal knowledge."

In other words, Rachel's settlement was confidential. If there even was a settlement, which is widely believed to be true, but it is, by definition, secret.

by Free Britney at . Comments

The guy accused of trying to blackmail David Letterman has offered to plead guilty in exchange for a one-year prison term, according to the New York Post.

Robert Halderman's lawyer, Gerald Shargel, denied knowing anything about an offer, saying: "There have been no plea negotiations. None whatsoever."

He would say that regardless, of course, and it's all a moot point until January, when Cyrus Vance Jr. takes over as Manhattan's new District Attorney.

A one-year term would be a far cry from the 15 he's facing.

Halderman stands accused of trying to shake down Letterman for $2 million by threatening to expose the TV star's series of sexual affairs with staffers.

Letterman admitted as much - and was blatantly honest in his on-air apology to fans, staffers and wife Regina Lasko - even breaking the story himself.

WHAT A RACKET: Halderman is accused of trying to shake down Letterman.

Prosecutors allege that Halderman dropped off a one-page "screenplay treatment" with Letterman's driver September 9. The proposed "story line" revolved around an intern-loving comedian whose sexy antics were about to be outed.

That plot appeared to make direct reference to Letterman's admitted affair with intern Stephanie Birkitt - also Halderman's ex-girlfriend - and others.

But instead of caving, Letterman went to war, contacting police and wiring his lawyer for a series of meet-ups with Halderman, who was later arrested.

He is free on $200,000 bail. Shargel has filed papers demanding dismissal of the charges, arguing that this was nothing but a "business transaction."

Prosecutors aren't buying that, though, saying that Halderman hatched the extortion plot with the screenplay nonsense as his intended cover stlory and admitted on tape that he resorted to the scheme because he needed the money.

by Free Britney at . Comments

In 2008, celebrity gossip websites where perplexed by the unexplained disappearance of Sex and the City: The Movie star Sarah Jessica Parker's trademark mole.

The general consensus? Confusion. Why would she remove it now?

This week on The Late Show With David Letterman, Sarah Jessica finally opened up and told the full story of the bewildering "scandal" she terms "Mole-gate."

"I didn't have strong feelings. I didn't object to it. I just didn't care for it," the actress said, admitting "I did it cavalierly. In fact, a family member did it."

THE MOLE: Trademark or not, it is no longer.

Huh? Sarah Jessica then explained that her brother-in-law is a plastic surgeon, and he removed the mole for her in his medical office. Well, there you have that.

Sarah Jessica then joked about a woman who confronted her on a beach after the mole was removed, and accused the actress of getting rid of her "signature."

"I was like, 'My mole was my signature? Isn't my brain my signature? For about the next 15 minutes I thought I make a huge mistake. Can they put it back on?"

Follow the jump for a clip of Sarah taking about it ...

Continue Reading...

by Free Britney at . Comments

Before Tiger Woods took his crown, David Letterman was the king of extramarital sex scandals this year. The Late Show host's involved an extortion plot.

Prosecutors in the case released transcripts of conversations clandestinely recorded of Robert "Joe" Halderman, who allegedly blackmailed Letterman.

"The defendant's threat was simple: Unless Mr. Letterman paid $2 million, defendant Halderman would make public information about a purported sexual relationship between Mr. Letterman and his assistant," said the feds in court papers.

Why $2 million?

"Because that amount would enable him to visit his son [in California] without needing to demand more money from Mr. Letterman in the future."

That's one expensive plane ticket.

According to excerpts, Halderman's intent was "crystal clear" in that was going to claim the negotiations were a business transaction for a screenplay.

Late Show Host

Robert "Joe" Halderman stands accused of trying to extort David Letterman.

He would use that as legal cover to shake down Letterman, who slept with ex-assistant Stephanie Birkitt, who was living with Halderman at the time.

Prosecutors rejected Halderman's screenplay story, citing remarks he made about storing "copies of the dirt he had" on David Letterman just in case.

"The only way to be sure that I never talk to anybody is for somebody to kill me. Well, you know, I don't want that to happen," Halderman said.

What the hell does he think this is, The Departed?

He apparently thought so: "I'm not sure how crazy this guy is, or um, how dangerous he might be," Halderman said, per court papers. "Should I be fired, mysteriously ... if my house burns down ... any number of things."

"I have no idea who or what he is or is capable of."

A hearing in the case is set for January 19.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

As he makes the talk show rounds in order to promote New Moon this week, one thing is clear:

Robert Pattinson is a cool guy!

The actor was as laid back and relaxed as we've ever seen him during an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman last night.

Pattinson joked about fame, fans and biting babies. When the host finally asked Rob the question on everyone's mind - is he dating Kristen Stewart? - the star hemmed and hawed until Letterman hilariously cut him off with:

"Ah, bite me. What do I care?!?"

If only supermarket tabloids, desperate for sales, felt the same way...

by Free Britney at . Comments

Sure, he's curmudgeonly and crotchety. Sure, he had an affair with Stephanie Birkitt and got blackmailed for it. But David Letterman is great at what he does.

That's due in part to his ability to create great comedy out of nothing. When he goes over to his desk after the monologue, you never know what’s coming.

Case in point? Last night, Dave went off on a New York Times’ front page story from last weekend on the increasing usage of the word “douche” on TV.

“Who knew The New York Times had enough money to pay a guy to count the word ‘douche’?” Dave asked, persistently ridiculing the paper's "journalism."

Check out Dave's rant about the piece below ...

Letterman also mocked terrorist mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, whose trial is approaching and whose photo appeared above the "douche" story.

In a hilarious aside unrelated to his overall point (or maybe this was the point, and the douche bit was the aside, who knows), he compared Mohammed to a sad, lost puppy longing to be adopted (left) and a drunk who just woke up (right).

One might describe Khalid by a certain term beginning with a D, a word often paired with its twin sister "bag." But that's normally reserved for wastes of space like Jon Gosselin and not actual terrorists. Better luck next time, Khalid.

by Free Britney at . Comments

This morning on CBS' Early Show, Joe Halderman's attorney further outlined a strategy to show he didn't blackmail David Letterman, and it's dubious to say the least.

What prosecutors call extortion, Halderman laywer Gerald Shargel calls a business transaction. He was just offering Dave rights to a screenplay about his life! Duh!

Halderman claims he asked Letterman for $2 million for the "screenplay," which admittedly was "a premium price" for a film about a sensational celebrity story.

Of course, if he truly wanted it made, one would think he'd shop it to real producers, rather than trying to embarrass and coerce Dave himself into buying it.

Minor details, right?

David Letterman's questionable personal decisions may have indirectly gotten him into this mess, but that doesn't mean he isn't the victim of a criminal act.

If Letterman thought it was a legitimate transaction, why would he call the police, therefore requiring him to out his own cheating on wife Regina Lasko anyway?

And if the police thought it was a business deal gone awry, why would they arrest Halderman to begin with? Such moves aren't exactly made based on hearsay.

Despite Shargel's claim that this is just "the way Hollywood works," Dave's lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, countered that there's no way it wasn't a blatant extortion plot.

Do you buy it? Here's their legal point-counterpoint this morning ...

by Free Britney at . Comments

The CBS producer accused of trying to extort $2 million from Late Show host David Letterman filed a motion seeking dismissal of all charges against him.

Attorney Gerald Shargel, who represents Robert Joel "Joe" Halderman, challenged the constitutionality of the laws in question in a 34-page document.

Judge Charles Solomon said he will rule on the motion at the next hearing on January 19. Prosecutors have until December 15 to respond to the motion.

Halderman is accused of telling Letterman in September that he would disclose the funnyman's sexual dalliances with female staffers unless he paid up.

The 27-year CBS veteran, a producer for the network's 48 Hours, was charged with first-degree attempted grand larceny and suspended from his job.

He pleaded not guilty, but prosecutors say evidence is "compelling" that he was trying to "destroy" Letterman's reputation and "humiliate his family."

Shargel, however, said that Joe Halderman is the father of two children, ages 11 and 18, has an "impeccable reputation" and denies any extortion plot.

Late Show Host

Can Joe Halderman really explain his way out of this one?

"There was no extortion," Shargel said Tuesday. "This was a commercial transaction, nothing more. [Letterman's] celebrity is why we are here today."

Many expected Halderman, who is believed to have financial problems that may have fueled the incident, would seek a prompt plea bargain in the case.

But his attorney said today there will be "no compromise."

Letterman's attorney, Daniel Horowitz, acknowledged as much, saying "this case will proceed to trial" and that Letterman "is prepared to testify."

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Letterman gave Joe Halderman a $2 million check and Halderman deposited the money into a Connecticut bank account the day before he was arrested and released on $200,000 bail.

The defendant's explanation? Halderman's attempt to sell the Late Show host a screenplay about Letterman's own sexual liaisons was a just business.

Not sure how if one will hold water. But his attorney says Joe Halderman should be applauded, not punished, for exposing Letterman's various workplace affairs, which he says "amounted to actionable sexual harassment."

Letterman's former personal assistant, Stephanie Birkitt, had a long-running sexual relationship with the host, and later lived with Halderman.

by Free Britney at . Comments

In a new piece for Vanity Fair, Nell Scovell, a contributor to that magazine and former writer for David Letterman, makes damaging claims about the embattled host.

No, for once, there's no allegations of an affair. But she does say NBC's Late Night was a "hostile, sexually charged atmosphere" where "sexual politics" ruled the day.

Moreover, that played a role in why she eventually quit.

Nell Scovell spent five months working for Dave back in 1990. During that time, Dave and other high-level male employees were sleeping with female staff members.

One of those women was Holly Hester, although Scovell does not name anyone. Years later, Dave's affair with Stephanie Birkitt led to an extortion plot against him.

Scovell has no knowledge of the Stephanie Birkitt affair, but at NBC, she says Dave's favorite girls "benefitted professionally from their personal relationships."

David Letterman Photograph

Nell Scovell did not have an affair with David Letterman, nor was she harrassed by him. But she says he fostered an unprofessional work environment just the same.

She says he created an "atmosphere that is demeaning to women." "Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no."

In 27 years, she notes that Late Night and Late Show have hired only seven female writers, and those women spent a total of just 17 years on staff combined.

On her last day, Letterman summoned her to his office and asked why she was quitting the show. With Dave’s rumored mistress within earshot, Scovell balked.

She is not seeking legal action of any kind but is speaking out for three reasons:

  1. People with no knowledge of the situation are weighing in.
  2. David Letterman himself opened this to a public discussion.
  3. Because of what she feels is a greater issue: That almost 20 years later, the situation for female writers in late-night-TV hasn’t improved.

by Free Britney at . Comments

An $2 million blackmail plot allegedly masterminded by Robert Halderman led David Letterman to shock fans with an on-air confession that he had sex with women who work for him, making the Late Show host's personal life a hot topic.

He's known as extremely private, even reclusive, but what little is known about David Letterman's love life has always been both idiosyncratic and messy.

Letterman in Action

A People source says Letterman's affairs, including an alleged liaison with former assistant Stephanie Birkitt, "pre-existed his marriage" to Regina Lasko.

Dave married Regina Lasko last March, and Letterman will be working hard to make sure he makes it to next March as he heads on vacation next week.

Lasko, 48, dated Letterman, 62, for 20 years-plus and is the mother of his 5-year-old son, Harry. She never speaks to press and is rarely photographed.

David Letterman and Regina Lasko got married earlier this year.

She is "wonderfully nice" but "long-suffering because of the length of time Letterman dated her but wouldn't marry her," says a longtime Late Show insider.

"She was crazy about him, so she put up with the situation."

Yet David Letterman was always drawn to other smart, funny women as well, including Holly Hester, but more recently and more significantly, Birkitt.

"Stephanie is sweet, goofy and quirky, which is a major lure for David," says the source, who has discussed both Lasko and Stephanie Birkitt with Letterman. "She's a peculiar character and David is fascinated with peculiar women."

Still, another source close to the TV host says, if forced to make a choice, Letterman will opt to do whatever he can to shore up his marriage.

"The truth is," says the source, "he's 24-7 focused on his wife and son."

David Letterman Biography

David Letterman Photograph 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 »
Full Name
David Letterman
×