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David Letterman Blackmailer Pleads Guilty

DavidLetterman(CBS) Looks like David Letterman is never going to have testify about the messy details about his affairs.  Robert "Joe" Halderman, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted grand larceny in a Manhattan courtroom.  This was after the blackmail attempt heard round the world.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, 5 years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service.   Under the plea agreement, Halderman must give prosecutors all copies of any diary entries, photos, screenplay notes or other materials he has concerning Letterman and must agree never to reveal the contents.

Halderman read a prepared statement to the court.  "I  attempted to extort $2 million from David Letterman by threatening to disclose personal and private information about him, whether true or false," he said.  "This so-called treatment was just a thinly veiled threat to ruin Mr. Letterman if he did not pay me a lot of money," said Halderman.  "I knew throughout this time that I was not engaged in a legitimate business transaction with Mr. Letterman and that what I was doing was against New York law," Halderman said, adding that he realized he had violated the privacy of Letterman and his family.  "I feel great remorse for what I have done," Halderman said, apologizing to Letterman, the comic's family and his own former girlfriend, Stephanie Birkitt.

Defense attorney Gerald Shargel said later Tuesday his client "was both jealous and enraged" and under financial pressure.

David-letterman

Letterman attorney Daniel J. Horwitz said in a statement: "His admissions today were compelling, and for that he will receive a serious sentence." In his own statement, Letterman thanked the district attorney and New York City Police Department. "When they became involved with this case, I had complete faith that a just and appropriate result was inevitable," he said. "On behalf of my family, I am extremely grateful for their tireless efforts."

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. commended Letterman for his cooperation – and for coming forward with the attempted blackmail plot. "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," he said in a statement Tuesday. "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."

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