Last night, David Letterman apologized to his wife and Late Show staffers for spilling the beans on having sex with staffers. Last week, Letterman disclosed details about a $2 million extortion attempt—the suspect was threatening to reveal details about these affairs—probably because details would be sought after the Manhattan DA's office announced charges anyway. He said, "It did not occur to me last week when I was discussing having had sex with women who worked on this show, that then what would happen is reporters and newspaper people and radio and TV would start hounding the staff and saying, ‘What do you say, are you, and this and that.’"
Mediaite's Glynnis MacNicol is skeptical that Letterman didn't realize there would be a tabloid frenzy: "Really it did not occur to him that the tabloids would have a field day with this story and do their best to dig up all parties involved? Come on. Did David Letterman just move to New York City? Was this past weekend his first encounter with the morning newsstand tabloids?" And now a new poll says a third of Americans are less willing to watch the Late Show with Dave's admissions (though it's unclear how many are Leno fans) while two thirds say the scandal doesn't impact their watching.
Scandal equals ratings, at least according to Nielsen: "The Nielsen Co.'s overnight measurement of the nation's 56 biggest markets netted Letterman's Late Show on CBS a 4.2 rating — higher than anything rival NBC had in prime-time." The tabloid gold of the scandal also means that we learn Stephanie Birkitt, the one-time girlfriend of suspected extortionist Robert Halderman, cheated on Halderman with...Letterman. The Post reports, "Letterman and Birkitt enjoyed romantic hikes last fall at his sprawling ranch in eastern Montana -- where he was married in March -- while her boyfriend, '48 Hours Mystery' producer Robert 'Joe' Halderman, stayed home in Connecticut, the sources said... 'I'm his best friend,' Birkitt told the worried 51-year-old Halderman, the source said."