On the season premiere of Showtime's Desus & Mero talk show, the former Late Show host, 72, shared the story of his near smackdown with Tarantino, 56. According to Letterman, it all started when he teased an unnamed actress on his show for dating the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director.
“And I was saying, ‘No, you're not dating Quentin Tarantino.’ And she said, ‘Yes, yes I am.’ And I said, ‘No please tell me this isn't true,’” he shared on the show. “Now, I'm joking, I'm pretending that I'm stunned this glorious movie star is dating this little squirrely guy."
But Tarantino wasn’t laughing. He even called the comedian just a few days later to let him have it.
“He starts screaming at me,”Letterman said. “‘I’m going to beat you to death. I’m going to kill you. I’m coming to New York, and I'm gonna beat the crap out of you. How can you say that about me?!'"
Letterman, seemingly spooked but playing along, asked Tarantino how they should fight, to which the famed director said, “a bat.”
“He said, ‘You get me a bat and I’ll beat the hell out of you,’” Letterman reminisced.
Luckily for Letterman, Tarantino never followed through with his threat. Years later, Tarantino was gearing up to promote Inglorious Bastards, Letterman decided to confront him about the misunderstanding
Letterman said it all happened five minutes before the show started, and the two joked about it during their interview. While the dust settled, it was never the same between the two.
As Radar readers know, Letterman is no stranger to threats and dangers.
In 1988, Mary Margaret Ray gained media attention after she became obsessed with stalking Letterman. The schizophrenic woman – also known as “Peggy” Ray – broke into the TV star’s home repeatedly, and was even caught driving off with his Porsche. She entered his property twice, just days apart, and eight times in total.
Ray was sentenced to prison after being forced to spend time inside a psych ward. She was found unfit to stand trial due to her mental illness.
Contractor Kelly Frank pleaded guilty in 2005 to felony embezzlement for overcharging Letterman to work, poaching and obstructing a police investigation. He was paroled in 2014, but was arrested the following year for violating the terms of his release, and was thrown back behind bars.
Years later, in 2009, CBS News producer Robert Halderman discovered the TV host was having an affair with assistant Stephanie Birkitt, and threatened to turn the sordid story into a screenplay if he didn’t receive $2 million!
But Letterman turned the tables, and shocked viewers by revealing the extortion attempt and admitting he’d had sex with women who worked for him.