March 9th, 2010
06:48 PM ET

Man pleads guilty in Letterman blackmail case

[Update: 6:46 p.m.] During Tuesday's taping of his "Late Night" show, comedian David Letterman expressed gratitude and relief that the matter was over.     

"Now, I'd never been involved in anything like this in my life, and I was concerned and full of anxiety and nervous and worried," he said. "And the people in the district attorney's office said, 'This will be handled professionally, this will be handled skillfully, and appropriately.' Well, the matter was resolved today, and they were exactly right - it was handled professionally, skillfully and appropriately."

The 62-year-old singled out District Attorney of Manhattan Cyrus Vance Jr., former District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, the Special Prosecutions Bureau in the district attorney's office and the New York City Police Department.

"This is a serious sentence that properly reflects the crimes that Mr. Halderman has now admitted that he committed, and it is a fitting end to the case," said Letterman's lawyer Daniel J. Horwitz.

[Updated 2:32 p.m.] The man accused of trying to blackmail comedian David Letterman pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Under the terms of the deal, Robert "Joe" Halderman will get six months in jail, five years probation and 1,000 hours of community service.

"I apologize to Mr. Letterman and his family," Halderman said after his court appearance.

[Posted 1:44 p.m.] The man accused of trying to blackmail comedian David Letterman is expected to enter a guilty plea in a hearing Tuesday afternoon, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Robert "Joe" Halderman, a CBS news producer, is accused of trying to extort $2 million from Letterman to keep quiet about the "Late Show" host's sexual affairs. Letterman announced the alleged extortion plot on his CBS show in October and admitted to affairs with female staffers.

Under terms of the deal, Halderman will serve six months in jail and perform community service, the source said.

Halderman's attorney, Gerald Shargel, declined comment, saying he would speak outside of court after the hearing.

Halderman, a 27-year CBS veteran, was charged with first-degree attempted grand larceny. He pleaded not guilty at a hearing October 2, 2009. His attorney, Gerald Shargel, has said that there was no extortion plot and characterized his client's dealings with Letterman as business.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Letterman gave Halderman a $2 million check last October and Halderman deposited the money into a Connecticut bank account the day before he was arrested.

Halderman was released from jail on $200,000 bail in October. He could face 15 years in prison if convicted on the charge.

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  1. nenecats Houston

    All is resolved. Halderman was guilty. He should serve time. Watched Letterman
    last night. His thanking the district attorney,NYPD,etc. was just enough said.

    March 10, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |