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Prior to her appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman last night, Kristen Stewart showed off a shorter, dyed hairstyle. Sound off with your thoughts on it NOW.

From there, the Eclipse star proceeded to sit alongside the talk show host... and make things incredibly awkward for all that watched.

We adore Kristen, don't get us wrong. But at some point her shyness stops being endearing and starts just being strange.

This is an actress that's been on the global stage for years now, not some scientist locked in her lab 24/7, yet her stories still trail off and she can't seem to banter at all with the person interviewing her.

Late Show Interview

Near the end of the following four minutes of interviewing Hell, Letterman even has to comfort Stewart, assuring her "you're fine, it's fine."

In her defense, however, the audience didn't offer much help. Those in attendance snickered at any reference Kristen made to Taylor Lautner, taking her quote about her co-star being "active" to mean... who the heck even knows? But something "ooohh" and "ahhh" worthy apparently.

See what we mean below and sound off: Is Kristen cute in these exchanges, or just painfully awkward?

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David Letterman's extortionist did the crime, now he'll do the time.

Robert "Joe" Halderman, the former CBS News producer who copped to one count of attempted first-degree larceny, was sentenced today to six months in jail.

Money-grubbing mistress of David Boreanaz, take note.

Robert Halderman could've faced up to 15 years in lockup had the case gone to trial. Instead, his plea deal ensures he'll serve no more than the half-year term.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Charles Solomon also gave him four and a half years' probation and ordered him to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Late Show Host

Letterman blackmailer Halderman was snared in a sting operation.

The 48 Hours Mystery producer was busted in October for trying to shake down David Letterman for $2 million in return for keeping quiet about the comic's affair with his former intern and Halderman's then-live-in lover, Stephanie Birkitt.

Owing thousands of dollars in child and spousal support to his ex-wife, Halderman approached him under the guise of selling a screenplay ... to Dave's own life.

Rather than buying it to keep his liaisons a secret, Letterman blew the whistle, bluntly admitted on the air that he cheated on wife Regina Lasko, and moved on.

Halderman's moving on too ... to the big house. Nice work, man!

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For the first time outside the comfort of his Late Show set, David Letterman addressed his recent sex scandal during a rare visit to Live with Regis & Kelly.

After Regis Philbin posed a potentially awkward question about Letterman's home life, Dave opened up with sincerity about cheating on wife Regina Lasko.

"I don't know if people know this, but I've had some trouble," he joked. "You know when something like this happens - and mostly it was reckless behavior on my part - if you behave recklessly and it hurts your family, then of course it hurts you.

"It was not a tragedy, it was just stupidity. And thank God, because we all know what tragedies are, and we all know how horrifying and scarring... and you just can't get beyond some of these. We all know what we're talking about."

If nothing else, Letterman is refreshingly candid about his own failings.

"You read about [these tragedies] every day. It's just godawful. And when you're a parent, this is your worst nightmare. So it wasn't that, thank God."

What it was, Letterman continued uninterrupted about the extortion case that blew the lid off his affair with staffer Stephanie Birkitt, was stupidity.

Pure stupidity, with no one to blame but himself.

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David Letterman tells jokes at others' expense for a living. This week, he got a taste of his own medicine from a worthy comedic adversary, Chris Rock.

Suffering from both a hoarse voice and a cold, Letterman gave Rock ample material for mercilessly mocking the talk show host's messy personal life.

"Dave, what the hell happened to your voice?" he asked. "You sound like an old ass man. You're still doing the show? You're rich, you could go home!"

Then Rock joked in reference to Regina Lasko: "Wife still mad at you, ain't she? I get it. Why drive back to Connecticut? Just do the show with no voice!"

Chris Rock turns the tables on Letterman.

Letterman took it in stride, and Rock later noted: "I've been there, man ... When I'm on the road, I just add on shows! We're doin' Roanoke tonight!"

Rock then continued his barrage, saying Dave "fired all the cute girls" that used to be backstage. Now it's just "a bunch of fat old guys," he lamented.

Of course, Letterman had a comeback, "some of them are starting to look pretty good." Follow the jump for some clips from the amusing exchange ...

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Emmy-winning CBS News producer Robert 'Joe' Halderman pleaded guilty to shaking down David Letterman as payback for the host's affair with his girlfriend.

Today, Halderman admitted giving Dave a "screenplay treatment" that was "a thinly veiled threat to ruin Mr. Letterman if he did not pay me a lot of money."

In exchange for the guilty plea, the extortion plotter will receive a six-month prison sentence, 4 1/2 years probation and 1,000 hours of community service.

Outside court, he expressed his remorse for the sordid episode.

"I apologize to Mr. Letterman, to his family, to (girlfriend) Stephanie Birkitt and her family, and my family and friends," said Halderman in a brief statement.

The plea came five months after Halderman threatened to expose Letterman's affairs with several female staffers, including the blackmailer's ex, Birkitt.

David Letterman and his blackmailer, Robert "Joe" Halderman.

Letterman released a statement thanking city police and prosecutors for their help in resolving the bizarre case that exposed his fondness for staffers.

"I had complete faith that a just and appropriate result was inevitable," Letterman said. "On behalf of my family, I am extremely grateful for their efforts."

Halderman would have faced up to 15 years behind bars if he had been convicted of a bizarre blackmail scheme involving the long-time Late Show host.

David Letterman's affair with Halderman's girlfriend, Stephanie Birkitt, ended shortly before his blackmail bid, but also predated her living with Halderman.

Halderman was arrested after Letterman - in a stunning admission on air - admitted cheating on wife Regina Lasko and detailed the blackmail attempt.

Halderman actually collected a $2 million check from Letterman as part of a sting operation started after the host went to police about the shakedown.

He was busted after depositing the check in his Connecticut bank.

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Vanity Fair has a terrific feature on the David Letterman scandal this month, taking us inside his affair and the alleged extortion plot against him like never before.

Even before 48 Hours producer Joe Halderman caught Letterman kissing his girlfriend, Late Show staffer Stephanie Birkitt, he and Dave were on a collision course.

The converging emotional sides of the slow-moving, but explosive triangle - Birkitt’s ambition, Halderman’s bitterness, and Letterman’s self-loathing - rocked CBS.

Excerpts follow, with a link to the full story at the bottom:

"A man waits in the darkness, watching his life slip away.

His name is Robert Joel Halderman. At 51, he is a producer for CBS' 48 Hours Mystery, a battle-scarred newsman who has spent much of his life in war zones.

He’s had two divorces, which have saddled him with crushing alimony payments, and his second wife recently sent him “reeling,” as he e-mailed colleagues.

Late Show's Host

David Letterman's shocking admission stunned viewers.

She had just moved to Colorado with their 11-year-old son, Jimmy.

August 2009. Robert Halderman is outside his modest house in Norwalk, Conn., as a $100,000 electric Tesla sports car comes to a stop at the end of the road.

In the passenger seat is his smart, attractive live-in girlfriend, Stephanie Birkitt, being driven home from work by her boss, none other than David Letterman.

Letterman lives 20 miles away on a 108-acre estate in Westchester.

Halderman has watched Dave and Stephanie seduce each other on national TV. For more than 10 years, as Stephanie rose from Late Show with David Letterman intern to one of the host’s assistants, to his frequent on-air sidekick.

It started innocently enough, with Letterman calling his office and asking Stephanie, then 26, about such things as “strippers” and “the dirty little Hooters girls.”

“Do you like hot dogs, Stephanie?” he asked.

Continue reading in Vanity Fair ...

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David Letterman has a message for television viewers around the world:

Do NOT blame Conan O'Brien for the late-night mess at NBC!

As The Late Show host says, following Jay Leno's explanation on Monday night, it's tempting to point a finger at O'Brien for pulling himself off the air and creating this controversy, but remember: Conan is a good family man. Give the guy a break, will ya?!?

We really don't do bitter, hilarious sarcasm as well as Letterman. Watch him continue his assault on Jay Leno and NBC below.

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David Letterman can really appreciate the joys of Jay Leno bashing because just a few months ago, he was the late night host in the media crosshairs.

After allegedly being blackmailed over an affair with staffer Stephanie Birkitt, Dave was forced to admit he had cheated on his wife Regina - on the air.

Late Show's Host

While the drama over the Late Show host's sexual liaisons in the workplace has largely blown over, the court case surrounding the extortion has not.

Tuesday, a New York judge rejected a motion to dismiss the extortion case against producer Robert Halderman for trying to shake down Letterman.

Justice Charles Solomon denied a request by Gerald Shargel, Halderman's lawyer, to throw out a charge of attempted first-degree grand larceny.

Robert "Joe" Halderman will be tried for extorting David Letterman.

Solomon nixed the so-called Tiger defense - that what Halderman did was no different than Tiger Woods' mistresses seeking payments to keep quiet about it.

The defense counsel claimed the extortion count should never have been filed because Halderman's attempts to sell Letterman a "screenplay about his illicit affairs" for $2 million was nothing short of a "pure commercial transaction."

Prosecutors countered that Halderman merely tried to use the appearance of a legal business transaction as cover to pull off the extortion. The judge agreed.

If convicted, the 52-year-old Halderman, who attended the proceeding and sat stone-faced throughout, could face a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

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It's clear who the loser is in the recent NBC late-night shake-up: Conan O'Brien.

But it's also apparent who the winner has become in this mess of a situation: David Letterman.

The Late Show host has gotten in numerous attacks on Jay Leno and NBC over the past couple weeks, prompting NBC executive Dick Ebersol to call him and O'Brien "chicken-hearted and gutless" for their take on the mess.

Naturally (and hilariously), Letterman responded to this critique last night. After subtly tweaking Leno's reputation as America's friendly everyman, he said: “I’m telling jokes and making fun of Jay Leno relentlessly, mercilessly, simply for one reason: I’m really enjoying it.”

It's classic Letterman:

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Like our Tila Tequila Twitter Tracker, we may soon need to make a rundown of late-night jabs and one-liners into a daily segment.

In the wake of the NBC programming debacle, David Letterman and company continue to chime in on Jay Leno's eventual takeover of the 11:35 p.m. time slot.

It's a mess, and we feel badly for Conan O'Brien, but it's also made for some great material. A sampling of last night's jokes are below...

Jay Leno: "Conan O'Brien, understandable, is very upset. He had a statement in the paper yesterday. Conan said NBC only gave him seven months to make his show work. When I heard that -- seven months! How'd he get that deal? We only got four."

Conan O'Brien and Ricky Gervais

Conan: "Hosting The Tonight Show has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me - and I just want to say to the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life. Unless Jay Leno wants to do it too."

"According to a new TV Guide poll, 83 percent of voters want me to stay at 11:35. When he heard this poll number, President Obama asked, 'How can I get NBC to screw me over?'"

Letterman: "Last night on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel did the entire show as Jay Leno. Jimmy Kimmel was so convincing as Leno, today NBC canceled him."

"Isn't it lousy cold outside today? You know, they say, from the weather bureau, they say it's caused by an arctic chill between Jay and Conan."

Craig Ferguson: "For those of you who don't remember Tiger Woods, he's the guy we used to make fun of in the olden times before late-night TV went nuts and we all started talking about each other all the time."

Whose team are you on, readers?


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 »
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David Letterman
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