Letterman extortionist released from NY jail

Thu Sep 2, 2010 12:15pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former television producer who tried to extort $2 million from talk show host David Letterman over his affairs with women was released from jail on Thursday, a city correctional department spokesman said.

Robert Joel Halderman, a former producer on the CBS news show "48 Hours", pleaded guilty in March to attempted grand larceny as part of a deal with prosecutors.

He was sentenced to six months in a New York City jail, but was released early after serving four months due to good behavior, the spokesman said.

Halderman had threatened to reveal details of Letterman's affairs with women who were employed on the 63-year-old talk show host's late night program.

The case became public in October and embarrassed Letterman who was forced to openly admit to the affairs on his "Late Show with David Letterman."

At the time that he pleaded guilty, Halderman said that he felt "great remorse" for his actions and apologized to Letterman.

He must now complete 1,000 hours of community service.

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr., editing by Christine Kearney)