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Halderman's rep says client just trying to sell movie treatment

Just when you thought this story couldn't get any better, the suspended CBS News producer accused of trying to blackmail David Letterman to the tune of $2 million says it was all a silly misunderstanding and what Letterman took for a shakedown was really just another Hollywood movie deal.

"There was no extortion....there was a screenplay for sale," Robert Joe Halderman's lawyer Gerald Shargel told a judge in a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday in filing a motion to dismiss the case, according to news reports.

To which Letterman's attorney Daniel Horwitz reportedly replied that any attempt to "dress this up as anything other than classic blackmail is sophistry" noting the whole "movie treatment" concept was difficult to reconcile with Halderman having approached Letterman's driver at 6 a.m. with the so-called screenplay treatment and demanded a response to his business proposition lickety split. It's true, Hollywood deals usually are not brokered at that hour.

And of course, there's the whole, delicious,Letterman-was-shagging-my-girlfriend-who-used-to-be-Letterman's-girlfriend-but-she'd-promised-me-that-was-so-over aspect of the story.

Sadly, we'll have to wait until Jan 19 for the next chapter: in which Manhattan Criminal Court judge Charles Solomon rules on Shargel's motion.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  November 10, 2009; 7:11 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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And how about this defense: I wasn't shaking him down, I was doing research for my /next/ movie treatment.

Posted by: DC2LA | November 11, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

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