News TV

David Letterman extortion plot

David Letterman dropped a bombshell on his audience last night by explaining that he has been the victim of an extortion plot and that he has been having affairs with staffers on his show.

The talk show host said he had been approached by a person who was going to write a screenplay which would reveal Letterman’s sexual affairs.

He went to the Manhattan district attorney’s office and in the course of the investigation, presumably a sting operation, was asked to write what he called a fake check for $2 million and a suspect was arrested on Thursday.

Letterman said that he had testified before a grand jury and had admitted to the relationships:

“My response to that is, yes I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would. I feel like I need to protect these people. I need to certainly protect my family.”

The name of the suspected extortionist has not yet been revealed but CBS have said the suspect was an employee of the CBS news program “48 Hours” and was arrested on charges of attempted grand larceny. He has since been suspended.

What’s interesting is how Letterman broke the news. By coming clean on his own show, rather than having the New York Post or National Enquirer break the story, he gets to essentially control the media message in a self-deprecating way.

As the victim of an alleged blackmail plot, commentators will possibly be less critical of him but it will be interesting to see how the story develops.

Aside from the fact that CBS could now stand for ‘Crime, Blackmail and Sex’, I’m sure Letterman is bracing himself for the inevitable kiss-and-tell stories that tabloid outlets will be busily preparing as we speak.

UPDATE 02/10/2009 1641 GMT: The New York Post is reporting that CBS producer Joe Halderman allegedly tried to extort the $2 million from Letterman. They also say that Halderman recently broke up with “Late Night” staffer Stephanie Birkett who admitted to him that she had previously had a fling with Letterman. Got that? Crikey.


Matt Damon on George Clooney’s ‘Boyfriend’

Matt Damon was recently on Letterman, where he discussed the back story of that bizarre press conference at the Venice film festival where a journalist stripped for George Clooney.

Amusing TV

Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman

Joaquin Phoenix recently made a strange appearance on Letterman, which has led to people questioning whether it was real or a hoax.

I’m definitely thinking it was the latter.


Russell Crowe talks about Body of Lies on Letterman

Russell Crowe was on Letterman recently discussing his new film Body of Lies, a contemporary thriller directed by Ridley Scott and co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

However, the interesting part of the interview is at 1.27 when Crowe talks about how the film’s producer Donald DeLine got him to change his favourite ad-libbed line in the movie, which was eventually cut out anyway because it upset executives at Warner Bros.

> Body of Lies at the IMDb
> Russell Crowe at Wikipedia

The Daily Video

The Daily Video: David Letterman pays tribute to Paul Newman

> Report on Paul Newman’s death
> Official site for The Late Show with David Letterman