Update

David Letterman Victim of $2 Million Sex Extortion Plot

UPDATED 10/02/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/01/2009 at 10:00 PM EDT

David Letterman Victim of $2 Million Sex Extortion Plot
David Letterman
J.P. Filo/CBS
David Letterman made a shocking confession on his CBS Late Show Thursday, admitting he was the victim of a $2 million extortion attempt – and that he had had sexual relations with female members of his staff.

Three weeks ago, according to a press release from reps of the TV host, Letterman found a package in the backseat of his car left by somebody claiming to have information about sexual activity between the 62-year-old star and employees of his program.

Threatening to go public with the news, the individual reportedly sought $2 million from Letterman, the current late-night ratings champ told his studio audience Thursday.

Grand Jury

Letterman decided to take action. "This morning, I did something I've never done in my life," Letterman said as the cameras rolled. "I had to go downtown and testify before a grand jury."

In his testimony to the grand jury, Letterman said, "I had to tell them all of the creepy things that I had done ... The creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show."

He continued, "My response to that is, yes I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would."

He also said, "I feel like I need to protect these people. I need to certainly protect my family."

Counterfeit Check

After contacting the Manhattan District Attorney's special prosecution bureau, Letterman participated in a sting operation, eventually meeting and handing a counterfeit $2 million check to the alleged extortionist – who was arrested on Thursday. In a statement, CBS said the individual in question was a producer on the network program 48 Hours.

TMZ.com has identified him as Robert Halderman, 51, a resident of Norwalk, Conn. In its story on the case, CBS News also cited Halderman as being the alleged extortionist.

Letterman concluded his admission by saying this was all he intended to say at this time and that he hoped to protect his job.

Letterman and longtime girlfriend (since 1986) Regina Lasko were married in March. They have one child, a son, Harry, born in 2003.

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