Robert Halderman is a producer on 48 Hours. But that's not why he's in the news. The moron tried to extort $2 million from David...

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David Letterman's blackmailer is out of a New York City jail after serving four months behind bars for his attempted extortion of the Late Show host last year.

The former CBS News producer, who ignited the celebrity sex and crime scandal in October, got two months knocked off his sentence for good behavior.

WHACKED: Halderman's attempt to bilk Letterman backfired.

Halderman infamously demanded $2 million to keep quiet about Dave's affair with Stephanie Birkitt, a former staff member who was living with Halderman.

He blackmailed Letterman, who is married to Regina Lasko, under the guise of offering him the exclusive rights to a screenplay about his life, and the affair.

Needless to say authorities didn't buy the "screenplay" bit and he took a plea deal earlier this year. Halderman still must do 1,000 hours of community service.

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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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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 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ...

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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.

Robert Halderman Biography

Robert Halderman Photo Robert Halderman is a producer on 48 Hours. But that's not why he's in the news. The moron tried to extort $2 million from David... More »
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