CBS News Producer Arrested for Extortion Attempt Against David Letterman

On Thursday's Late Show, David Letterman recounted how he testified before a Manhattan grand jury earlier in the day about how a man, whom he did not identify, left a package in his car three weeks ago and subsequently demanded $2 million or he would write a screenplay and book detailing, in Letterman's words, “all the terrible things that I do” – specifically, “that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show. Now, my response to that is: Yes I have.” (In March, Letterman married the mother of his five-year-old son.)

Just before midnight EDT, TMZ.com posted:

TMZ has learned the identity of the alleged extortionist who was arrested today for attempted grand larceny in the first degree. His name is Robert Halderman. He's 51 years old and lives in Norwalk, CT. Halderman has a business in Manhattan, where he was arrested today. CBS just issued a statement saying the suspect is an employee of "48 Hours." Halderman has been suspended pending results of the investigation.

Radar Online, in “EXCLUSIVE: Man Arrested For Extortion Lived With Woman Who Slept With Letterman,” reported: “An NYPD source has told RadarOnline.com that the suspect under arrest in the David Letterman extortion case was a producer for CBS’s 48 Hours, Robert Halderman. Halderman often went by his middle name Joe...”

UPDATE: New York Daily News article for Friday's paper: “David Letterman reveals $2M extortion plot; CBS News producer busted in scheme to reveal sex secrets.”

Film.com lists a “Joe Halderman” as a “producer” since 2005 for 48 Hours.

Deadline Hollywood posted this statement from CBS:
CBS was made aware of an ongoing police investigation involving David Letterman and an employee at 48 Hours, who was subsequently arrested earlier today on charges of attempted grand larceny in the first degree. CBS is cooperating fully with the authorities and the employee has been suspended pending the results of the investigation. Mr. Letterman addressed the issue during the show’s broadcast this evening, and we believe his comments speak for themselves.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center