UPDATE: David Letterman’s alleged extortionist asked for case to be dropped
12:35 pm, November 10th, 2009
UPDATE: As Gossip Cop had reported earlier, the TV producer, Robert “Joe” Halderman, accused of trying to shake down David Letterman for $2 million today asked a New York judge to dismiss the extortion charge.
What was his reasoning?
Get this: He claimed he wasn’t trying to extort Letterman. Rather, he was trying to sell the late-night talk show host a screenplay — about Letterman (and his dirty secrets).
Halderman’s attorney said, “There was no extortion. There was a screenplay for sale… There was a commercial transaction. Nothing more.” Letterman’s attorney countered, “It’s classic blackmail, no matter how Mr. Halderman’s lawyer wants to dress it up.”
Gossip Cop would like to know what you think.
The David Letterman case is set to begin today in a New York courthouse, and the TV producer, Robert “Joe” Halderman, accused of trying to extort the late-night talk show host, is expected – via his attorney – to ask that the case be dismissed.
Halderman’s lawyer plans to challenge whether the evidence against his client is sufficient, and is set to ask the judge to drop Halderman’s attempted first-degree grand larceny charge.
Relax, this is pretty much standard practice in criminal cases.
On Sept. 9, Halderman allegedly left a package in Letterman’s car that contained a letter, a synopsis for a screenplay (filled with personal information) that threatened to have the “Late Show” host’s world “collapse around him,” various personal photos, and portions of a diary belonging to Stephanie Birkitt, Halderman’s ex-girlfriend with whom Letterman had a long-term sexual relationship.
(As you may recall, Gossip Cop exclusively nabbed an impromptu interview with Letterman and Birkitt four years ago at the Emmys.)
In exchange for keeping quiet, Halderman wanted $2 million in hush money, a demand that authorities had tape recorded.
Last month, Letterman publicly (and painfully) acknowledged that he had sex with some of his female staffers.
Halderman, a producer for CBS’ “48 Hours Mystery,” pleaded not guilty, but if convicted he could face five t0 15 years in the slammer.
Gossip Cop will update you as the case unfolds.
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