Alleged David Letterman Extortionist to Face Trial

01/20/2010 at 07:00 AM EST

Alleged David Letterman Extortionist to Face Trial
David Letterman (left) and Joe Halderman
John P. Filo/CBS; Brad Barket/Getty
A request by suspended CBS producer Robert Joel "Joe" Halderman – accused of attempting to extort $2 million from David Letterman – to have the case dismissed was denied Tuesday

Halderman's defense – apparently modeled after the hush-money agreements reputedly brokered for Tiger Woods's mistresses – was that he was simply offering the CBS Late Show host the opportunity to buy a thinly veiled screenplay about his life.

But New York City Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon called the offer just a "hard-driven" business deal and Halderman's behavior a "classic example of an issue that is best left for a trial jury to decide."

On Oct. 1, Letterman announced Halderman's purported scheme on his CBS show. The D.A. said that Halderman waited outside Letterman's Manhattan apartment Sept. 9 at 6 a.m. to give him a package and say that he needed a "large chunk of money." He was hoping to sell a "screenplay treatment" and told Letterman that his life was about to collapse around him.




Halderman, 51, whose next court appearance is scheduled for March 9, could face the possibility of up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

"We're going forward toward trial," said Halderman's lawyer, Gerald Shargel, the New York Post reports. "There have been absolutely no plea negotiations."

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