Judge Rejects 'Tiger Defense' in Letterman Case
Case involving alleged extortion is heading to trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 19, 2010 10:00 AM CST
Halderman in October.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A jury should get to decide whether a TV producer's dealings with David Letterman were attempted blackmail or just hard-nosed business, a judge ruled today. Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon refused a defense request to throw out an attempted grand larceny charge against Robert "Joe" Halderman. The ruling puts the case on a path toward trial, which could bring testimony from the Late Show host.

Prosecutors say Halderman demanded $2 million to keep quiet about the talk-show host's affairs. Halderman says he was just offering Letterman a chance to buy, and keep private, a thinly veiled screenplay about Letterman's life. Defense lawyer Gerald Shargel wrote that information about celebrity misdeeds is "routinely suppressed through private business arrangement." The defense likened the situation to Tiger Woods' mistresses seeking hush money, but the judge didn't buy it.