The David Letterman blackmail saga will play out in court Thursday, with a top-secret twist: prosecutor Suzanne Vieux is hoping to keep search warrants in her case against Robert J. “Joe” Halderman — the man accused of blackmailing the late night icon — under wraps.
Vieux said, in court papers filed in Norwalk Superior Court Wednesday, that publicizing the identities of possible witnesses in an extortion case could bring on unwanted media coverage, hampering her efforts in the case, and making the witnesses less cooperative.
Vieux has also requested Thursday’s hearing be closed, so certain details of the case are not leaked.
Halderman’s attorney, Gerald Shargel, said that the names and faces in the case will inevitably be exposed.
“They seem very sensitive,” Shargel said Wednesday. “They seem to have a low threshold for pain. Sooner or later this has to be disclosed.”
Halderman, a CBS news producer, is accused of trying to blackmail Letterman for $2 million dollars after he reportedly learned his live-in lover, Stephanie Birkitt, had made love to the Late Show host. Letterman, in his Oct. 1 monologue, addressed the fiasco by saying an extortionist tried to blackmail him with info about sexual trysts with members of his staff (whom he did not name). My response to that is yes, I have [had sex with women who work for me on this show]” Letterman, 62, said.