Letterman Blackmailer Freed From Jail - NBC New York

Letterman Blackmailer Freed From Jail

Served four months with time off for good behavior



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    "48 Hours" producer Robert J. Halderman (inset) admitted in March to attempting to shakedown talk show host host David Letterman.

    A former CBS television producer who tried to blackmail David Letterman over the comedian's office affairs has been freed from a New York City jail.

    City Department of Correction records show Robert "Joe'' Halderman was released Thursday. He served four months of his six-month sentence and got time off for good behavior.

    The former CBS News producer admitted he demanded $2 million in hush money last fall to keep from revealing personal information about Letterman. The case spurred the "Late Show'' host to reveal on-air that he'd had sex with women on his staff.

    Halderman's lawyer says his client is glad to put jail behind him and is looking for work. Meanwhile, he has to complete 1,000 hours of community service.

    Letterman blunted the blackmail threat by divulging his workplace dalliances himself. His viewership hasn't suffered, and his status was barely scuffed.

    Letterman revealed on-air Oct. 1 that he'd had sex with women who work for him and disclosed the blackmail attempt. It was the first the public had heard of the case — prosecutors announced the charges the next day — and made it a story told largely in Letterman's voice. Critics and public-relations experts hailed his disclosure as a master stroke.

    Halderman no longer has his job with CBS' "48 Hours Mystery." The network also hosts Letterman's show.