Blackmail at Black Rock: The David Letterman Case

Nov 13, 2009 - by Don Fulsom

Updated Sept. 4, 2010

David Letterman

David Letterman

Letterman survives his unmasking as a “creepy” sexual predator

by Don Fulsom

On September 9, 2009, David Letterman ambled out of his multi-million dollar lower Manhattan hideaway and plopped his lanky frame into a waiting limo for the short ride to the Ed Sullivan Theater. To Dave’s surprise, his chauffer handed the CBS TV star an envelope.

The driver had lowered his window to accept the envelope at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. He apparently thought little about the propriety of the transaction—because the envelope came from esteemed CBS veteran “48 Hours Mystery” producer Joe Halderman.

Yet the envelope was not an innocent handoff of company memos from one Black Rock (CBS Headquarters in Manhattan) biggie to another. Authorities say its contents amounted to an extortion attempt by Halderman.  And six months later, Halderman himself concurred—pleading guilty to second-degree larceny.

In his failed blackmail attempt, the producer was threatening to expose the 62-year-old Letterman’s sexcapades, over several decades, with a significant number (eight or nine are the most prevalent rumored numbers) of far-younger Letterman staffers.  In fact, Halderman’s former live-in girlfriend, 34-year old Stephanie Birkitt, was reputedly among Letterman’s cavalcade of underling bedmates. 

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