Former Letterman writer cries foul over sexcapades

Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:59pm EDT
 
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By Andrew Wallenstein

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A former writer for David Letterman says she left his NBC show in the 1980s partly because she was uncomfortable with a work environment in which several female employees benefited from sexual relationships with high-ranking men.

Nell Scovell, who worked on "Late Night with David Letterman" for less than a year, writes on VanityFair.com that "sexual politics" was a "major part" of why she walked away from her dream job.

"Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships?" Scovell writes. "Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely."

But she stops short of confirming direct knowledge of any sexual relationship Letterman had.

The comedian last month admitted on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" that he had had consensual sexual relationships with female employees.

Scovell writes that she never spoke of the "sexual politics" at "Letterman" until now, but nearly told the host why she was leaving at the time.

"On my last day at 'Late Night,' Dave summoned me to his office and pressed me on why I was quitting the show. I considered telling him the truth, but with Dave's rumored mistress within earshot, I balked."

In the article, Scovell lays responsibility for the hostile work environment on the traditionally male-dominated world of late-night TV writers; she identifies herself as the second-ever female writer hired by Letterman.   Continued...