David Letterman Confession: I Had Sex With Staffers, Got Targeted by Extortionist
Tells Fans of Scandal During Thursday Night Show
David Letterman told the audience of his late night talk show that he had sexual relationships with female members of his staff, and added he forked over a bogus $2 million check as part of an extortion plot over the matter.
Letterman, 62, made the confessions to the audience during a taping of "The Late Show" for broadcast Thursday night, according to a statement by Worldwide Pants Inc., Letterman's production company.
"This morning, I did something I've never done in my life," Letterman told his audience, according to the statement. "I had to go downtown and testify before a grand jury."
During that testimony, Letterman acknowledged unspecified sexual relationships with staff members, the Worldwide Pants statement said.
"My response to that [allegation of sexual relationships] is, yes I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would," Letterman said. "I feel like I need to protect these people. I need to certainly protect my family."
Letterman announced on his show his marriage to his longtime girlfriend, Regina Lasko, earlier this year. The pair have a son, Harry Joseph Letterman, whose impending arrival Letterman announced on his show in 2003.
It's unclear from the Worldwide Pants statement when Letterman's sexual relations with his female staffers occurred.
But according to the statement, Letterman received a package three weeks ago, threatening to reveal those indiscretions "if Letterman did not pay the individual a large sum of money" -- specified in a later communication as $2 million.
"Letterman said that he referred the matter to the Special Prosecution Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which Letterman said conducted an investigation, which included his issuing a "phony" $2 million check to the individual, and culminated in the individual's arrest earlier today," the Worldwide Pants statement said.
Letterman was a longtime bachelor after his first marriage ended in divorce in 1977.
He has had at least one relationship with a co-worker in the past. Merrill Markoe, a comedian and author who was his longtime writer, was his girlfriend in the 1980s.