Accused Letterman Extortionist Joe Halderman Pleads Guilty
There is justice in the David Letterman extortion scandal. His accused blackmailer has pleaded guilty!
Robert Halderman, a former producer for CBS's 48 Hours Mystery, pled guilty to second degree larceny in a deal worked out with prosecutors.
As part of the plea deal, Halderman will serve six months in jail and perform 1,000 hours of community service. He originally faced 15 years behind bars for threatening to reveal Letterman's affair if the late show host didn't pay him $2 million.
A sullen-looking Halderman spoke outside court after making the deal. "I apologize to Mr. Letterman, his family, to Stephanie Birkitt, her family, and certainly to my friends and family," he told reporters.
"Letterman gets the security of not having to go to trial and talk about this stuff anymore, Halderman gets six months behind bars, not potentially 15 years...both sides don't get the gratification of going to trial and winning but they do get the certainty of bringing this thing to a close," CBS legal analyst Lisa Bloom tells INSIDE EDITION.
Halderman is said to have come up with the extortion scheme in a jealous rage after learning that his live-in girlfriend, Late Show staffer Stephanie Birkitt, was having an affair with Letterman.
The extortion plot led to a stunning on-air confession from Letterman: "I have had sex with women who worked for me on this show."
For months, Halderman's lawyer had insisted the case was going to trial. He used the now-infamous "Tiger Woods defense," arguing that Halderman's dealings with Letterman were the same as Woods paying his mistresses hush money.
"I expect Letterman to be popping some champagne corks today because he can put this whole sordid mess behind him," says Bloom.
Prosecutors say Halderman was motivated by his frustration over his breakup with Stephanie Birkitt and money problems due to his divorce.