This just in, from CBS News:
After first claiming that he was originally offering “Late Show” host David Letterman a screenplay for $2 million, Robert “Joe” Halderman, an ex-producer for “48 Hours Mystery” on CBS, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted grand larceny in the second degree.
“I apologize to Mr. Letterman, his family, to Stephanie Birkitt, her family, and certainly to my friend and family. I will not be doing interviews. Thank you for your patience,” Halderman said after entering the plea.
As part of the plea bargain, Halderman was sentenced to six months in jail, five years probation and 1,000 hours of community service.
It seems that Halderman’s lawyer, renowned criminal defense attorney Gerald Shargel, secured a good result for his client. A six-month sentence doesn’t seem particularly onerous, given the circumstances:
As a reminder, Halderman’s alleged conduct includes: (1) personally delivering a package of embarrassing e-mails and photos to Dave; (2) stating in writing that Letterman’s “world is about to collapse around him” and would lead to a “ruined reputation;” and (3) negotiating with Letterman’s lawyer to receive a $2 million paycheck in exchange for not disclosing information about Letterman’s affairs.
Let’s hope part of the plea bargain terms also include a prohibition on profiting from his conduct. Without such a restriction, Halderman very well could make more than the original $2 million he demanded.
CBS producer pleads guilty in Letterman extortion case [New York Daily News]
Producer Pleads Guilty In Letterman Plot [CBS News via Drudge]
Letterman Blackmail Suspect Pleads Guilty, Gets 6 Months [ABA Journal]
David Letterman’s Sextortionist Pleads Guilty [Popsquire]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day Stephanie Birkitt: An Update on the Ex-Letterman Lover
Lawyer of the Day: Stephanie Birkitt, Cardozo Law Grad and Ex-Letterman Lover