Former Letterman Staffer: Show Is a "Hostile Work Environment"
Another woman once employed by David Letterman has pointed to a less-than-ideal workplace on his long-running show.
In 1990, Nell Scovell became the second female writer ever to be hired for the comic's show. Within six months, however, she had quit what she calls her "dream job."
Why? Late Night with David Letterman was a "hostile work environment" and "demeaning," Scovell claims in an article published today at VanityFair.com.
"My first day as a Letterman writer was one of the happiest moments of my life," Scovell writes. "But it was all downhill after that."
The TV writer (for Monk, NCIS and Sabrina the Teenage Witch) elaborates:
"Did Dave hit on me? No. Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes."
When Letterman, now 62, asked her of her sudden resignation, "I considered telling him the truth, but with Dave's rumored mistress within earshot, I balked . . . Dave said 'You're welcome back anytime,'" she recalls.
Scovell insists that she isn't after revenge or a windfall. Instead, she says, "I just want Dave to hire some qualified female writers and then treat them with respect."
Following the disclosure of a $2 million extortion plot against him, Letterman admitted in early October that he'd had sex with female employees. He apologized to his wife, Regina Lasko, on air. "She has been horribly hurt by my behavior, he admitted. "I got my work cut out for me."