Stephanie Birkitt wishes she weren't in the news. This Late Show with David Letterman staffer had an affair with the show's host. Their...

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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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It turns out the woman at the center of David Letterman's sex and extortion scandal is not banned from the The Late Show set as some media outlets reported.

"Stephanie Birkitt is on a paid leave of absence. TMZ's reporting that she is banned from the set or the building is incorrect," a rep for Worldwide Pants said.

Letterman in Action

Worldwide Pants is Letterman's production company.

Whatever Birkitt's status, Letterman has escaped any kind of official reprimand so far, remaining on air, cracking jokes at his expense and raking in ratings.

Stephanie Birkitt, 34, worked as David Letterman's former assistant on The Late Show before moving on to bigger and better things as his personal attorney.

Her ex-boyfriend, CBS News producer Robert "Joe" Halderman, was arrested for trying to extort $2 million from Letterman by threatening expose the affair.

Stephanie Birkitt was a recurring comic muse for Letterman.

But it wasn't just money motivating Halderman, according to reports. It was a grudge the star held against him for years, and most of all, it was jealousy.

As recently as August, Halderman saw Letterman and Birkitt passionately kissing in a car in the driveway of the Norwalk, Conn., home he shared with her.

According to a People source, Letterman and Birkitt "were seen making out in the driveway in August," despite her telling Halderman they were just friends.

"He drove her home once a week. The interesting thing was he lives in North Salem, New York. Driving her home to Norwalk wasn't exactly the next town."

Halderman and Birkitt lived together for several years. He reportedly left Dave a package with a copy of her diary and emails elaborating on their hookups.

It was previously believed that their affair had ended in 2003, before the birth of Letterman's son Harry, but these ecent reports seem to suggest otherwise.

Letterman apologized to his staff and his wife, Regina Lasko, who he married in March, on the air Monday, his first day back at work since the alleged plot.

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Stephanie Birkitt, the woman at the center of the David Letterman sex and blackmail scandal, has been banned from New York City's Ed Sullivan Theater.

The 34-year-old former aide, who appeared on the Late Show numerous times in comedy bits, was later offered a job by Dave as his personal attorney.

She and Letterman had a sexual affair of indeterminate length.

It was Robert Halderman - the ex-boyfriend of Stephanie Birkitt - who found out about the pair's secret relationship and then allegedly threatened to release the scandalous information unless Letterman forked over $2 million.

Halderman has been arrested for this crime but is free on bail.

CBS is aware of Stephanie Birkitt's ban from David Letterman's set.

Birkitt, who was allegedly cheating on Robert "Joe" Halderman - Letterman's accused extortionist - with the Late Show host, wrote all about it in her private diary.

She also wrote Dave some "trashy" love letters that will embarrass them both if and when they become public, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

While David Letterman's wife, Regina Lasko, was not married to him until earlier this year, the two have a son, born in 2004, and had been together for 20 years.

Letterman apologized on air to Regina and his staff Monday night.

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Former Late Show with David Letterman staffer Stephanie Birkitt said in her private diary that she continued having sex with Dave even after moving in with her CBS-producer boyfriend, Robert Halderman, who later allegedly tried to extort him.

According to the New York Post, Letterman and Birkitt enjoyed romantic hikes last fall at his ranch in Montana, where he married Regina Lasko in March.

All the while, Birkitt's beau Halderman, a CBS News producer, was home in Norwalk, Conn. Birkitt told him she and Dave had "a platonic relationship."

"I'm his best friend," Stephanie Birkitt told a worried Robert "Joe" Halderman.

Stephanie Birkitt's rumored cheating on Robert Halderman, her boyfriend of several years, may have driven him to blackmail David Letterman, according to reports.

Apparently, he was such a good friend that at least once a week, he drove Birkitt to the house she lived in with Halderman since he divorced his wife in 2004.

According to the diary, Birkitt, a recent graduate of Benjamin Cardozo Law School in New York, was offered a job by Letterman to be his personal attorney.

Birkitt later tried to use the generous offer to persuade Halderman to have children, saying she'd make good money and he could stay home with the kids.

Halderman reportedly went through the roof when he read Birkitt's diary in December, after she moved out (and somehow inexplicably left her private diary).

It was then he learned she was still carrying on an affair with Letterman.

These details emerged as Letterman returned to the Late Show for the first time since Thursday, when he revealed he'd had sexual affairs with female staffers and became targeted in a $2 million extortion plot by Halderman as a result.

Last night, Letterman attempted to blend humor with earnest apologies as he made many jokes at his own expense, then turned serious as he addressed the affairs, apologizing to wife Regina and his staff for the pain he's caused.

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Excerpts from Stephanie Birkitt's private diary make up the centerpiece of Robert Halderman's alleged plan to extort $2 million from David Letterman.

Halderman (who is also known as Joe Halderman) threatened to expose his inter-office affairs if he did not comply, according to law enforcement officials.

Late Show Interview

The writings of Stephanie Birkitt was presumably not meant for the eyes of former lover Letterman, or a more recent one, CBS News producer Halderman.

But pages copied from her diary are critical to the police investigation.

Stephanie Birkitt, 34, was an assistant on The Late Show with David Letterman and frequently appeared on camera herself, along with the host, in comedy skits.

She was also once his lover, according to her own diary (another woman, Holly Hester, is alleged to have had an affair with Letterman while he was still at NBC).

Later, she became romantically involved with Robert Halderman. The couple lived together in his Norwalk, Conn., home until August, when they reportedly split.

Stephanie had once worked on 48 Hours Mystery, the show where Halderman was a well respected producer. CBS News has suspended him since his arrest.

Robert Halderman apparently copied pages from Birkitt's diary before they broke up, using them together with e-mails and other information in a package left in Letterman's limo that was intended to extort money from him.

Halderman's attorney, Gerald Shargel, said Monday that Letterman is a master manipulator and only telling one side of the story, while the charges against his client are "so obviously out of character to the point of not making any sense."

After he pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court last week to a count of attempted first-degree grand larceny, Halderman is currently free on bail.

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Yesterday, Holly Hester became the second to claim she was one of the women David Letterman slept with during the 1990s. She likely will not be the last.

Holly said she and Letterman were together for over a year in the early 90s, and that she would have married the hilarious late night comedian if possible.

Letterman in Action

She claimed to be with David Letterman just a day after the Late Show host confessed that someone was trying to extort him for $2 million over his affairs.

Letterman's affair with Holly Hester allegedly began when she was an NYU student and an intern for the show. A year-long romance ensued, she said, until the funnyman called it off because of their age difference.

A source close to the show tells the New York Daily News that the host kept a secret bachelor pad above his set in the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway.

"He doesn't have to come out," a staffer said. "He has a suite upstairs."

An ex-Late Show staff member said that Letterman kept a room insiders dubbed "the bunker" that was open only to his favorite young female underlings.

The allegations followed a similar admission from former Late Show staffer Stephanie Birkitt, who claims to have had an affair with him in the late '90s.

Stephanie Birkitt later spent years with Robert Halderman, accused extortionist of Letterman - which may explain how Halderman knew of Dave's love life.

Letterman, 62, admits that he had several affairs, apparently while dating longtime lover Regina Lasko, who he married in March. They have a son, Harry, 5.

Shocking as the allegations by Birkitt and Hester are, some believe they may be the tip of the iceberg. People alleges the existence of a third Letterman girl.

Whether that's true or not, rumors will likely continue to fly in the coming weeks regarding scandalous love affairs between Letterman and young staffers.

All of which puts even more pressure on Letterman.

When he devoted a 10-minute monologue on his show Thursday to the extortion plot and affairs, fans generally stood by him and appreciated his honesty.

But as more details of his actions become public knowledge, rumored or true, they begin to overshadow the extortion scheme. He may not be a hypocrite or have done anything illegal, but Letterman's reputation will take a bigger and bigger hit.

How he responds will be very interesting to see.

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He started talking to me more, and we developed a rapport.
- Stephanie Birkitt, in 2002, on how she and David Letterman grew close.

When Burkitt uttered those words during a chat with Entertainment Weekly, no one had a clue just how tight of a rapport her and her boss at The Late Show with David Letterman had developed.

Late Show's Host

Now, of course, the world is aware that she and Letterman carried on a sexual relationship, one that took place right around the time of this interview.

That makes for an interesting examination of her words from 2002, as Stephanie was asked about the backstage behavior of this popular talk show host:

On whether Letterman is a grouch in real lie: He's not that way at all. He's the best boss I've ever had.

On typical interaction with Letterman backstage: One time we had a bunch of pizzas in the office. There were 12 pieces left, and Dave said, ''I'll give you $300 if you can eat it all.'' I managed to eat only nine slices, [but] he was gracious enough to pay me $20 per slice, even the slices I'd eaten before.

Later this week, it was also revealed that Dave paid Holly Hester to eat some of his pizza... if you know what we mean!

Because she began appearing on the air occasionally back then, Birkitt was asked if she was recognized on the street. She replied:

"Once in a while, outside the theater, but in real life, no. I look like everybody else my age. My mother can't pick me out of a lineup sometimes."

This, of course, will likely change going forward, as Birkitt's ex-boyfriend Robert Halderman outed her affair with Letterman when he moronically tried to extort millions from the comedian.

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It's now public knowledge that David Letterman carried on an affair with a female staffer. The talk show host himself admitted this last night.

To her horror, that employee has now been identified as Stephanie Birkitt.

Considered one of Dave's most trusted staffers, Birkitt earned a degree from Wake Forest University in 1997; worked at 48 Hours upon graduation (where she first met Letterman's alleged extortioner, Robert Halderman); and joined the The Late Show months later.

She actually appeared on air at times, most notably in sketches such as“ Know Your Current Events,” as seen below. Fast forward to the 3:15 mark to watch Birkitt (referred to as "Vicki) interact with Dave and an audience member:

Reportedly, Stephanie developed a sexual relationship with Letterman that ended in 2003, prior to the birth of his son, Harry. She was living with Halderman at the time.

In 2004, in an interview with The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Birkitt said of her boss:

“He’s just playful. We play catch sometimes in the office, and we all go to screenings together. We eat food together, we sit around and watch TV together and goof on people. And he teases me in real life, too, but I give it back a lot more in real life.”

Birkitt

Opinions are flying in about David Letterman's dalliances with Stephanie Birkitt. What's yours?

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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.

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On last night's installment of The Late Show with David Letterman, the host turned serious during a shocking admission to his studio audience.

Letterman opened up about a $2 million extortion plot against him, in which someone dropped off a package three weeks ago that threatened to expose the comedian's affair with female co-workers. A note in the package read:

"I know that you do some terrible, terrible things - and I can prove you do these terrible things."

As cameras rolled, Letterman said he chose to take action: "This morning, I did something I've never done in my life. I had to go downtown and testify before a grand jury.. I had to tell them all of the creepy things that I had done... The creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show."

Late Show Host

Letterman has a 5-year-old son, Harry, with Regina Lasko, the woman with whom he's been for 23 years and married earlier this year.

Incredibly, the host said he took part in a sting operation against the blackmailer. Letterman's lawyers actually met the man, handed over a counterfeit $2 million check and the man was arrested on Thursday.

Reports indicate the culprit is Robert Halderman, a producer for 48 Hours, who lived with the staffer - Stephanie Birkitt - with whom Letterman slept. (The incident allegedly happened prior to Harry's birth and prior to Dave's marriage.)

After his explanation of events, Letterman said: "I don't plan to say much more on this particular topic."

Follow this article's jump to watch a clip of Dave admit to sex with women on the show and then crack a joke about it, as the audience is clearly confused about how to react to this news.

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