April 1, 2010
Posted: 09:38 AM ET
February 8, 2010
Posted: 01:39 PM ET
Jay and Dave together? Could it be true?
It is, and there they were, Jay Leno and David Letterman sitting on a couch – with Oprah Winfrey between them — upstairs at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Mr. Letterman tapes his show.
The spot was shot last Tuesday afternoon, under the strictest of secrecy which involved both Mr. Leno and Ms. Winfrey flying in surreptitiously to New York, and arriving incognito at the theater, while Mr. Letterman was in the midst of taping his show for that night.
It also involved Jay wearing a disguise: hooded sweatshirt, glasses and faux mustache. If you happened to be on Broadway between 53rd and 54th street last Tuesday about 4:15, you might have seen a man fitting that description slip into the theater by a small entrance under the marquee.
According to staff members of the “Late Show with David Letterman” who were on the scene that day — including the executive producer, Rob Burnett – it all happened because Mr. Letterman had an idea he thought would be truly funny: a Super Bowl ad that featured the two longest-running adversaries in late night, sitting with Ms. Winfrey as though at a Super Bowl party.
January 20, 2010
Posted: 03:08 PM ET
Judge Jeanine Pirro is the former District Attorney for Westchester County, NY, and a frequent guest on LKL. Her commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive.
It's no surprise that Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon refused a defense request to dismiss criminal charges against Robert Halderman in the David Letterman extortion case. As such, the case is scheduled for trial.
Of course, the defendant can plead guilty and eliminate the need for a trial, but will he? Probably not. It appears that the defendant's attorney, Gerald Shargel, is primed to get Letterman on the stand and rake him over the coals. Why? Because he can! But let me digress for a moment.
Defense attorneys make mountains out of molehills. They create smokescreens so thick they could convince a jury that the courthouse is on fire. In truth, their job is to take the focus off the defendant's actions, and to make the jury believe that the victim is the wrongdoer.
If you're the victim of a crime, you're fair game – an open book. Indeed, a defense strategy succeeds when the jury stops wondering if the defendant is bad and starts wondering if the victim is bad. In some cases you almost expect the jury foreman to stand up and say, "We the jury find the VICTIM guilty!"
Of course Halderman, is presumed innocent in a court of law, but we need to start telling the truth about the presumption of innocence. The phrase "innocent until proven guilty" does not mean that those who have examined all the evidence before trial must stick their heads in the sand and draw no conclusion whatsoever. Prosecutors don't drag people into court because they assume they're innocent – they indict people because they believe they're guilty. When the grand jury voted to indict Robert Halderman it didn't assume he was innocent. Its vote meant there was probable cause based on extremely damning evidence to assume he was guilty.
Back to Letterman. So if Halderman refuses to plead guilty as charged and even refuses a plea bargain – assuming one is offered – Letterman must take the stand to establish the elements of attempted grand larceny in the first degree. Specifically, the prosecution needs to prove to the jury's satisfaction beyond a reasonable doubt that Letterman felt that he would be subject to "hatred, contempt or ridicule." (New York Penal Law section 155.05(2)). But in order to establish that, Letterman must testify. And when he does, it will be a circus. We will "ooh" and "ahh" over every sordid detail. How many in a day? Who changed the sheets? Was there ever a quid pro quo?
The Sixth Amendment right of confrontation gives the defendant the right to confront his accuser. The trial judge, upon the prosecution's objections, will decide how far he can go in his cross-examination.
In addition to Letterman's testimony, there is evidence not only of a picture, and meetings, but tape recordings of the extortion attempt itself, and a letter wherein Halderman threatens Letterman that his "world is about to collapse."
Letterman may face a few more difficult months if Halderman insists on a trial. It's not easy to have the world discuss the most intimate and embarrassing details of one's private life. It may be cathartic for Halderman and his lawyer to go through this exercise, but in the end there's only one man whose world will collapse.
January 13, 2010
Posted: 01:38 AM ET
November 10, 2009
Posted: 04:59 PM ET
Robert Joel Halderman was simply trying to sell a story, not extort money, when he delivered a one-page screenplay proposal and other evidence to David Letterman in September about Mr. Letterman’s affairs with women who worked for him, according to Gerald L. Shargel, Mr. Halderman’s lawyer.
Mr. Shargel began telling Mr. Halderman’s side of the story in earnest Tuesday as he filed motions in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to have the attempted grand larceny charge against his client dismissed.
“This was a commercial transaction,” Mr. Shargel said outside the Lower Manhattan courthouse surrounded by a horde of cameras and reporters. “It was nothing more.”
But at the same time, according to the motion, Mr. Shargel appears to be trying to make Mr. Letterman a focus of the proceedings, suggesting that his office was rife with sexual misconduct — a claim heatedly denied by Mr. Letterman’s lawyer.
At the heart of the defense argument is that Mr. Halderman’s only intention was to write a book or a screenplay about Mr. Letterman’s affairs. But before going forward with the project, Mr. Halderman offered to sell Mr. Letterman the rights to the story for $2 million, according to the motion. Purchasing it would have allowed Mr. Letterman to keep the story quiet.
What Mr. Halderman did was legal because the information he possessed had its own independent value – meaning that, even without going to Mr. Letterman first, a third party, such as a book publisher or movie producer, would have paid for it, according to the motion.
October 14, 2009
Posted: 11:12 AM ET
October 13, 2009
Posted: 11:47 AM ET
Late night funny man Craig Ferguson talks to Larry about his fight to overcome alcohol addiction, how he got into the business of being funny, and all the buzz surrounding his boss David Letterman.
PLUS – In the first public comments made by a parent of the Columbine killers, Susan Klebold writes in O Magazine that she had no idea her son, Dylan, was suicidal. O Magazine Editor-at-Large Gayle King joins Larry to talk about Susan Klebold's message.
That's all tonight at 9ET/6PT.
And we want to hear from you:
What do you want to know about Craig Ferguson?
October 7, 2009
Posted: 12:27 PM ET
Paul Shaffer is speaking out to ET in his first interview since the alleged attempt to blackmail David Letterman was made public. The music man goes one-on-one with our Kevin Frazier, also speaking about his newly published memoir, We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-Biz Saga, in bookstores now.
"Dave is my close and dear friend and there is nobody like him," Paul says. "There's nobody that I respect more." In fact, he says Dave gave him relationship advice - which he relates in his book. "Cathy is a woman that has been in my life for over 30 years," Paul tells Kevin. "We dated a long time before I actually gave in to the fact, and submitted to the fact, that this was the girl for me ... Until that time, Cathy and I were on-again, off again."
Filed under: David Letterman
October 6, 2009
Posted: 05:27 PM ET
Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and President Barack Obama is facing some difficult decisions. Should the President send more troops to fight a war that most Americans oppose? His commander on the ground says yes, but his national security team is split. And just how damaging was Saturday Night Live's skit about a do-nothing Obama? Will the shtick stick?
PLUS – He's sorry, so sorry. But is this just the beginning of David Letterman's troubles? He says his wife is deeply hurt by revelations that he slept with "Late Show" employees and that he has his work cut out for him in trying to repair his marriage. Meanwhile, the attorney for alleged extortionist Robert "Joe" Halderman says he has evidence that Letterman committed sexual harassment. Watch Larry King Live for the latest on the bizarre plot! That's at 9ET/6PT.
And we want to hear from you!
Should the President send more troops to Afghanistan?
Posted: 11:35 AM ET
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Part of America thinks David Letterman is a dirty dog, and the other part thinks we should keep our noses out of his private business.
Those who see Dave as a showbiz guy who need not answer to anyone other than his family are, in my view, missing the point that the boss was having sex with subordinates. Or maybe they just don't care. If my online chat yesterday was any indication, more people are in the get-off-his-back camp.
Boston: "David Letterman was a famously single man. Other than the Enquirer and Us, who cares who a TV star is sleeping with? I'm sure their celebrity means a heck of a lot more pretty women than most of us though."
Brooklyn: "Am I the only one missing the big deal with Letterman? He's an entertainer, not the country's moral compass. And it seems to be a personal matter, not a public one. Big star has sex with hot young women. Wow. Stop the presses. I'm not even sure why Letterman made such a big deal of it himself."
Maybe because he realizes this could permanently soil his image?
After all, no one forced Dave to address the mess again last night. Something tells me that after a few days at home with his new wife, he realized he had more 'splainin' to do.
Here's my report on the latest developments.
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LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.