Paul Shaffer: I Still “Respect” David Letterman

 Peter Kramer/Getty Images

Late Night With David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer is standing by his longtime buddy and coworker, who is embroiled in a $2 million sex extortion scandal

"Dave is my close and dear friend, and there is nobody like him," Shaffer, 59, tells Entertainment Tonight in a new interview. "There's nobody I respect more."

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The musician wouldn't comment on the extortion incident, explaining "it's an actual criminal proceeding."

But he and Letterman have long confided in one another on matters of the heart.

After he met Cathy Vasapoli, a former Good Morning America booking agent, in the late '70s, they kept breaking up and making up.

Shaffer said Letterman told him, "''When you find somebody, it's so hard to find anybody you can get along with . . . You should keep her.'"

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Turns out, Letterman was right: Shaffer went on to wed Vasapoli in 1990, and the two recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary.

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