Attorneys representing David Letterman and the late night host’s accused extortionist went head-to-head on Wednesday’s edition of The Early Show, a day after a judge said he would decide whether or not to throw out the case early next year.
Gerald Shargel, who is representing CBS news producer Robert “Joe” Halderman, said his client was merely trying to execute a “legitimate business transaction” in selling a screenplay to Letterman. Letterman’s attorney Daniel Horvitz disagreed, saying Letterman was “absolutely” ready to take the stand against the man he said was trying to blackmail him.
Shargel said Halderman will not cop a plea under any circumstance, and the case will be headed toward a trial if the judge does not throw it out early next year. He said following Tuesday’s hearing that “any lawyer who’s been out of law school for more than 15 minutes would be anxious to cross-examine Mr. Letterman.”
Letterman, 62, admitted on his Oct. 1 show that he had testified before a grand jury earlier that day because of the alleged extortion, which was for $2 million. The Indiana funnyman then admit “the creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show,” which ignited a firestorm of scrutiny towards the veteran talk show host.
Halderman has pleaded not guilty to the charges; if the producer is found guilty of attempted grand larceny, he faces up to 15 years in state prison.