Lawyer: Producer accused in Letterman plot only trying to sell screenplay to ’Late Show’ host

A TV news producer accused of blackmailing David Letterman in exchange for keeping quiet about his sexual affairs was only trying to sell the late-night comic a screenplay, the producer’s lawyer said at a hearing Tuesday.

NEW YORK — A TV news producer accused of blackmailing David Letterman in exchange for keeping quiet about his sexual affairs was only trying to sell the late-night comic a screenplay, the producer’s lawyer said at a hearing Tuesday.

Robert J. “Joe” Halderman’s attorney asked a Manhattan judge to dismiss the attempted first-degree grand larceny charge.

Gerald Shargel said that Halderman was merely trying to sell Letterman a screenplay when he approached him with the package left in Letterman’s car.

“There was no extortion. There was a screenplay for sale,” Shargel said. There was a commercial transaction. Nothing more.“

An attorney for Letterman called the TV host the victim in the case and derided Shargel’s claim that Halderman was merely trying to sell a screenplay.

“It’s classic blackmail, no matter how Mr. Halderman’s lawyer wants to dress it up,” Daniel Horwitz said.

Prosecutors have said Halderman left a bizarre and threatening package in Letterman’s car on Sept. 9, demanding $2 million to keep quiet about some of the “Late Show” host’s dalliances. The materials included a letter, a synopsis of a supposed screenplay that said Letterman’s world would “collapse around him” when information about his private life was disclosed, photos, personal correspondence and portions of a diary, authorities said.

The diary entries were allegedly written by Halderman’s former girlfriend and outlined her affair with Letterman.

Authorities then taped two conversations between Letterman’s lawyer and Halderman — including an exchange in which the lawyer gave Halderman a phoney $2 million check, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said. Halderman was arrested after depositing it, prosecutors said.

The day before prosecutors unveiled the case last month, Letterman divulged it on his show, acknowledging he had had sex with women who worked for him.

Halderman, 51, a producer for CBS’ “48 Hours Mystery,” has pleaded not guilty. He could face five to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

Come play at Medicine River Wildlife Centre

Grand opening of new playground

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

TORONTO — Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off… Continue reading

In Franklin’s anthems, women heard an empowering message

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.… Continue reading

Happy birthday Boler: 100s of cute campers in Winnipeg for anniversary gathering

WINNIPEG — Angela Durand sits outside her camper which is decorated to… Continue reading

Merkel, Putin share a headache: Donald Trump

FRANKFURT — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will… Continue reading

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

TORONTO — The president of Tim Hortons says a plan to conquer… Continue reading

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump is suggesting Canada has deliberately been… Continue reading

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault while on the job

TORONTO — A Toronto newspaper photographer said he opted to file a… Continue reading

Annual inflation rate jumped to 3.0% in July, highest reading since 2011

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says higher gasoline prices helped push the country’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month