CBS Producer Posts $200,000 Bail in Letterman Extortion Case

 Marc A. Hermann-Pool/Getty Images

An Emmy-award winning producer for the CBS News program 48 Hours has posted $200,000 bail after pleading not guilty to an alleged $2 million extortion attempt against David Letterman.

Judge Michael Melkonian also issued a temporary order or protection against Robert Joel Halderman, 51, reports. 

Halderman was pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of attempted grand larceny Friday in New York City. He is accused of demanding money from Letterman or else he would cause "severe damage" to Letterman's life by revealing that he had sexual relationships with his female employees. Halderman reportedly lived with former Lettermen assistant Stephanie Birkitt, who had an affair with him, according to reports.

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Court records show that Halderman, who lives in Norwalk, Conn., needed to pay about $6,800 a month in child and spousal support to his former wife. Prosecutors declined to say whether he had financial problems or other possible motives to support his two kids, ages 11 and 18.

"The message of this indictment should be clear. New York City will not tolerate the coercion or extortion of anyone, be the victim rich or poor, famous or anonymous,"  District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau said.

If convicted, Halderman faces five to 15 years behind bars.


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