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.
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.