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Accused David Letterman extortionist pleads guilty

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Robert “Joe” Halderman, the former 48 Hours producer accused of attempting to blackmail David Letterman for $2 million appeared in court today to plead guilty to first-degree grand larceny, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office confirmed. The producer will be sentenced to six months jail time, five years probation, and 1,000 hours of community service. “By not giving in to the defendant’s extortionate demands for millions of dollars, and instead taking the courageous step of reporting the crime to law enforcement, Mr. Letterman risked the disclosure of certain aspects of his private life,” District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., said in a press release. “I commend Mr. Letterman for making the difficult but unquestionably right decision to report this crime to my Office and thank him for his full and complete cooperation throughout the investigation and prosecution of the case.” Letterman also issued his own statement: “I would like to thank the District Attorney of Manhattan, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the former District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau, the Special Prosecutions Bureau in the D.A.’s office., and the New York City Police Department. When they became involved with this case, I had complete faith that a just and appropriate result was inevitable. On behalf of my family, I am extremely grateful for their tireless efforts.”

Halderman attempted to extort the Late Show host last year when he threatened to reveal that the host had been sexually involved with female members of his staff. Letterman revealed that he had received threats on his talk show in October. Halderman will be sentenced May 4.