Letterman Admits Extortion Plot; Sexual Liaisons With Staffers

Last night on his show, David Letterman took ten minutes to share with his audience the story of an extortion plot.

[Trigger warning.]

Last night on his show, David Letterman took ten minutes to share with his audience the story of an extortion plot—including the writing of a fake $2 million check, his testimony in front of a grand jury, and the arrest yesterday afternoon of the extortionist—and also confessed, without details like when or why, to having had sex with female employees of the show.

Despite the idiotic headline, this piece very accurately summarizes the segment, which I found to be profoundly uncomfortable to watch, even knowing the content of what he was going to say. Throughout the story, he refers obliquely to the "creepy stuff" he'd done, over which he was being extorted, and the moment where he at last reveals what the "creepy stuff" was (at 7:40), the reaction from the studio audience is, well, rather creepy itself—even given all the relevant excuses for nervous responses, etc.

[The video's in the window to your right. Starting at 7:40]


Now, of course, we get to: What was it, what was all the creepy stuff [audience laughs] that he was going to put into the screenplay and the [book], and, uh, the creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who work for me on this show. [audience murmurs] Now, my response to that is: Yes, I have. [audience laughs] I have had sex with women who worked on this show. [audience applauds] And, and would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would. Perhaps it would. [audience laughs] Especially for the women! [audience laughs and applauds]

Part of the reaction is discernibly "Way to go, Dave!" from people who think it's great he's had loads of HOT SEXXX WITH CHICKS, but part of the reaction is palpable relief that the "creepy stuff" wasn't worse:

At least he's no Polanski.



No. Not according to him, anyway. According to him, it was just some consensual sex with some ladies who happen to work for him—as if that's incidental and not a major ethical problem, even if they weren't coerced by virtue of their employment.



I suppose such questions are easily drowned out by laughter at self-deprecating jokes about "Lutheran Midwestern guilt" and how embarrassing it would be for his conquests for people to know they had sex with him. Har har.



Jesus. I'm so done with this fucking week.

Melissa McEwan writes and edits the blog Shakespeare's Sister.
Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018