Entertainment

Effects of Letterman blackmail case hard to judge

Monday, May 03, 2010
FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2008 file photo, television talk show host David Letterman walks out of The Ed Sullivan Theater during a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, in New York. Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
(AP)

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2008 file photo, television talk show host David Letterman walks out of The Ed Sullivan Theater during a taping of "The Late Show with David Letterman", in New York. Photo/Evan Agostini, file) (AP)

Former CBS producer Robert "Joe" Halderman is about to go to jail for trying to blackmail David Letterman.

The former "48 Hours Mystery" producer is expected to start his six-month term Tuesday after admitting to the shakedown plot in March. He pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny.

Halderman threatened to ravage Letterman's congenial, clean-cut image by revealing the late-night TV icon's office affairs.

Instead, Letterman blunted the $2 million blackmail threat by confessing on his show. His viewership hasn't suffered.

But celebrity lawyers and image-makers say it's unclear whether the case will function as a cautionary tale that deters future shakedowns. They say many stars would rather handle such matters privately than press charges that would air their dirty laundry.

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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