Earlier today, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau conducted a press conference in which he outlined some of the details surrounding the David Letterman blackmail case that has late-night–media observers talking about something other than the abject failure that is The Jay Leno Show for the first time in weeks. According to Morgenthau (by way of Us):
Halderman wrote that he needed to "make a large chunk of money" by selling Letterman a so-called "screenplay treatment," Morgenthau said. "The one page screenplay treatment attached to the letter referred to Mr. Letterman's great professional success and ... his beautiful and loving son [Harry, 5]."
The document then related that Mr. Letterman's "world is about to collapse around him" as information about his private life is disclosed leading to a "ruined reputation and severe damage to his professional and family lives," Morgenthau said.
Halderman just pled not guilty to the felony charge of attempted grand larceny in the first degree. We've got more updates on this sordid case for you below.
• New York's television critic, Emily Nussbaum, put together a great post on the Letterman saga over on her (still relatively newish) television blog, Surf. In it, she theorizes as to why David Letterman was so cranky with Neil Patrick Harris a few weeks back and explains why late-night television is basically a "dead form" to her. [Surf]
• Why on earth did Robert "Joe" Halderman, by all accounts a very successful and well-respected producer at CBS, feel the need to blackmail Letterman for the outrageous sum of $2 million? Well, it turns out he has to pay out nearly $6,000 a month in child support to his ex-wife, whom he divorced back in 2004. [TMZ]
• And in an embarrassing twist, Halderman was arrested yesterday outside of the CBS studios as he was going to work, shortly after he tried to cash the phony $2 million check that Letterman's attorney passed along to him. [TMZ]
• Radar Online is reporting that Stephanie Birkitt and David Letterman "slept together for a period of time before he married his girlfriend Regina and had their son Harry." They also report that Birkitt met Halderman at CBS over fifteen years ago, while Halderman was still married, but the two did not commence their relationship at that point in time. [Radar Online]