Friday, October 2, 2009

David Letterman extortion scandal

My mother loathes Bill Clinton for one reason and one reason only: his affair with Monica Lewinsky. And this news will ensure that she'll be watching Conan if she's up that late:
During a taping for tonight's broadcast, Letterman told viewers that three weeks ago he was approached by a person who claimed to have information about the host's affairs with female staff members. This person, Letterman said, threatened to expose the relationships unless payment of $2 million was received. The CBS star approached the Manhattan district attorney's office, which began an investigation that culminated in today's arrest of the person, whom Letterman did not identify.

According to the website TMZ, the alleged extortionist is New York businessman Robert Halderman, 51.

Letterman, 62, said that during his grand-jury testimony he admitted to the sexual relationships.

"My response to that is, yes I have," he told his studio audience. "Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps." However, he added: "I need to certainly protect my family."
The New York Times story is here.

Hey, the guy's only human, and a person in his position might end up having temptation thrown at him. With a big enough ego, he might seek it out.

But none of that warrants being extorted. Celebrities are still people who deserve their privacy, and it's a shame that someone thought it was worth $2 million for these transgressions to be kept private.

In the end, it's a lesson no small number of people fail to learn (especially in Korea): the best defense is to keep your nose clean.

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2 comments:

  1. I know almost everybody will disagree with me, but I feel strongly about how public opinion cares so much about people who have affairs. During the Clinton ordeal, I thought it was such a big waste of media and time. I felt really bad for Clinton that he had to go through that scrutiny. David Letterman sleeping with some colleagues is another thing that people shouldn't care about and just should have expected anyways as he is in the entertainment business. Why do we care so much about these things?

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  2. Actually, LastNameKim, I don't disagree at all. The private lives of celebrities should remain private. Clinton or Letterman having an affair is a matter between them and their families (and the affairees). I loathe Rush Limbaugh, but I felt horrified for the man that what medication he was taking was being splattered all over the media.

    And here we see that this kind of thing can be abused: People up to no good can use this as a weapon against them because they know the media will eat it up.

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