October 6th, 2009
01:48 AM ET

Comedian: Letterman had sex, so what?

David Letterman took to the airwaves Monday night with an addendum to last week's shocking admission that not only had he slept with female staffers, but that it had become the object of an alleged extortion plot. The news caught staff and audience members by surprise. He addressed the fact that he blindsided them.

“I’m terribly sorry that I put the staff in that position.  Inadvertently, I just wasn’t thinking ahead.  And, moreover, the staff here has been wonderfully supportive to me, not just through this furor, but through all the years that we’ve been on television and especially all the years here at CBS, so, again, my thanks to the staff for, once again, putting up with something stupid I’ve gotten myself involved in."

Letterman then talked about the impact of his revelation on his wife.

“Now the other thing is my wife, Regina.  She has been horribly hurt by my behavior, and when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it’s your responsibility, you try to fix it.  And at that point, there’s only two things that can happen:  either you’re going to make some progress and get it fixed, or you’re going to fall short and perhaps not get it fixed, so let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me.”

Letterman is right, he has his work cut out for him at home. He's dealing with both the public and personal aspect of  his actions. Comedian Lewis Black offered his take on the whole matter Monday during an interview with a CNN producer. He called for a cease and desist of sorts.

"He came out, he told you. That’s it, case closed. You don’t need to write anymore…you don’t need to write whether you think he’s right or wrong. What are you, a priest? Idiots. You don’t make a judgment call. He had sex. Oh god, he didn’t have sex on TV. Privately. And the only reason he had to come out is because some idiot tried to make money off of it. That’s the story. He is not the story. I am tired of it."

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Debra R

    Lionel: what is really sad about this whole thing is that people like YOU don't understand this is not about gender it is about POWER. If Dave were a female it would not change my opinion and as a victim of sexual harrasment I understand how this kind of thing works

    October 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Britney...

    Haha Steve... couldnt help but laughing in your last sentence there... (: Totally true...
    Enough with Letterman and those Jon and Kate... PLEASE lets move on to something else... anyone with me??!

    October 7, 2009 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. christa

    If this comedian is married or in a relationship, he probably is a cheater too. Birds of a ...............

    October 7, 2009 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    Hey Lewis – IT'S TOPICAL!
    Comedians, like yourself, are all over, an elected official when he or she has a sexual romp? But "Oh No! We can't subject Letterman to the same verbal jabs that he spews out about others! " Oh the hypocrisy!
    Relax Mr. Black, in time this will all die down and CNN will go back to covering much more meaningful things...like the next chapter in the all-important Jon & Kate saga (which I think we're ALL TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT!!!).

    I just don't what to think of "Letterman" and "sex" in the same sentence (ugh...)

    October 7, 2009 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Gloria A. Kumar

    These fellows like Letterman are shameless. In the Caribbean , we say dog eat their shame.

    Regardless of how sin seems ok on the TV , wrong must always be wrong.In the Caribbean we also have a whip called a bull pistle and whips made of Tamarind sticks for foolish people like Mr Letterman.

    Yes , he is foolish and shameless and his wife should act to suit and set him aside.

    October 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Barbara

    Letterman is a pig...you watch all the truth will soon be out. Why do you think he jumped on talking about it. The man doesn't have any respect for anyone. All of you people that are commenting....if it was you behaving this way at your job, your *ss would be fired in a heartbeat.

    October 6, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dr. AtomicDoom

    The funny thing is all these people giving their opinions..."sex harassment this"..."Letterman abused his power"..."he's a cheater"...blah, blah, blah...when they don't know for sure. That's just speculation, not facts. I'm with Lewis! Stick with the FACTS and move on.

    When I rule the world this kinda crap will be completely acceptable.


    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anna

    Kasper, you do know that feminism is about equality between men and women right? (equal pay, rights, right to vote, own property etc...) so where does feminism play in your warped little scenario? what does feminism have to do with ANYTHING relating to this situation? I guess you just have a vendetta against all women and feel the need to spew hatred on something totally NOT related. You really have no clue what feminism is, you want to sound like a big boy so you pretend to make an intelligent statement – guess what you FAILED. I think this was a consensual relationship and I hope Dave just lets the situation die out in private. Somethings are better kept away from the public eye

    October 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lori

    IT is Appalling the way so many News Media People /Programs are attempting to Create a David Letterman Dirty Deed- Sex Scandal ! The fact that these So-Called UnBiased Respected- "NEWS" Anchors- Reporters, and Show Producers (not to mention the NetWorks themselves )
    Are able to take Prime Air Time and space- and use it for making up horrific lies and baseless accusations- including office rape, forced sexual acts, prostitiution, sexual harrassment, spousal cheating, orgies, unwanted advances, favoritism etc. etc. etc.!!
    One lawyer"s comments (Gloria Aldridge's Daughter) were so out-landish and either gossipy and hateful, or unjust opinions and a lot of "what ifs" types of comments! She was so embarrassingly femininistic -that I (A Woman) wanted to punch her in the nose right through the television set!! She was one of 3 other commentators voicing their thoughts on David Letterman/"World Wide Pants" troubles-but they spent the entire segment of the show – Stirring up Unjust Garbage and licking their lips in anticipation – trying to create a firestorm of hot air and praying somehow, some way,someone , would admit wrong doing and allow them the pleasure Burning Letterman at the Stake!
    Sick- Sick behavior by those who we should be able to trust to give us the truth in this World- Not report their personal mindfuls of self rightious betterment!!
    Not until later in the Day on Sunday did I even hear about the "TRUE STORY of Extortion and all that truely went on concerning this "Letterman" event!
    When did most US Media give up their Dignity and choose instead to be one more like the "Inquirer, Star, Gossip Rag???
    DavidLetterman- You will be torn to shreds by Media folk only!!! and
    Like Bob Barker- whom they tried to condemn for having sex with his younger employee- You too will receive more standing ovations than ever before by those of us who were/are/forever will be your audience!!
    Lori of pa.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Britney...

    I have no idea why this is such a big deal!
    Is it illegal to have sex? I mean really, people are just overreacting and just need something to talk about.
    And omg.. Lewis Black, i seriously couldnt have said it better myself.
    Everyone is acting so immature these days. I mean, im 16 and im in High School, and i think that people my age are more mature than this! WHY is this a big deal? His wife you say? THEY WERENT MARRIED! David Letterman had to bring it out because of some retarded guy that was desperate for 2 million dollars.
    Please America, getting a little more mature would be a good thing.
    And truley, im sick of tired Jon and Kate as well.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anna

    Kasper you sound like a bitter misogynist – I am sure you would change your tune if it was your daughter you would rationalize the situation in your favor (you would probably assume that Dave told her to sleep with him, or else she would get fired – but since its some other woman, you attack feminists – which by the way is a good thing -no respectable and secure man wants a doormat Stepford wife). I disagree with your blatant sexist statement (seriously, read your comment over – its sexist in all sense), yet I agree with the general point you are making (despite all the flaws in your post). I think that unlike other people who preach morality, Dave did nothing wrong. He doesn't claim to be holier than thou, and does not preach messages of morality and turn around and act hypocritical (Jimmy Swaggert!). That having been said he owes the public NOTHING. Americans like to think everything is their business and that they need to know what is going on in everyone's life. Dave, stop airing this stuff out in the open, yeah your wife is hurt, but you constantly talking about it PUBLICLY is not helping the situation. Is nothing private anymore? Dave Letterman is starting to sound like a media attention seeking ***** I hope he doesn't end up on Maury or Jerry Springer (are those shows still around?)

    October 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Frank

    The only part I care about, is that, yes, this was all before his marriage, but it was while he and his wife were together. She should ditch him, really.

    Also, it's very slimey of him to sleep with an incubordinate. Very unethical. I know this because we have to take ethics training every year and this kind of stuff is always in there.

    Course, we all know ethics training never applies to management/executives.


    October 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brookfield Bill

    Helloooooooooo. Doesn't seem like many heard Lewis, with whom I heartily agree. Until one of Letterman's partners CLAIMS harassment, let's quit acting like superior moral judges and/or giggling 9 year olds and move on to things that really matter, like health care reform, Afghanistan, global warming, and poverty.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Connie

    \Sorry, but you don't have sex with someone who works for you. It can lead to all kinds of problems. He could have been charged with harassment and it generally creates an undesirable work environment. Sure it's possible that there were no strings attached on anybody's part, and sure it's possible that no one expected to become Mrs. Letterman, and yes it's possible that no one was promoted or not promoted based on sex but why run the risk? Surely he could find other casual sex partners? I have little respect for someone who does something like that. Hello, was he around for the Clinton scandal? It wasn't about two consenting adults but about the power one person has over the other. I have two sons and let me tell you that there is no shortage of men to point to when I want to point out wrong behavior. Whew.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Antonio B

    you cant cheat unless your married. Only then can you "Cheat". Everyone cheats on their significant others anyways when they have any kind of lust for anyone else. Quit referiing to an unmarried man as cheating. there was a reason he wasnt married at the time.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Karen

    How about he broke the LAW... Sexual Harassment in the workplace is not a joke... it's a very serious matter. He had the power, he abused it!

    October 6, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  17. donna

    None of my business and none of yours either. I am so tired of people getting into other people's private lives. This is about Letterman and his wife. CBS is probably in heaven with his ratings on this. It takes two to tango. If this were such a "creepy problem" how come the women have never come out about it before the extortion attempt ? I am sure before it is all over, one or two will have a book deal. And CNN will go on to the next big scandal. I agree with you Lewis !

    October 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Kasper

    I love how some people (women) are claiming it is an abuse of power and he took advantage of his female staff.

    1. Some women get off on getting with the boss. There are millions of women world wide who fantasize about sleeping with men in uniform (people in power) and the rich execuitive.

    2. Why is Dave automatically a predator? Maybe the woman chased him? Maybe the woman wanted to get ahead by sleeping with the boss. Maybe the woman was in love?

    Yes Dave was wrong, a cheater, has some ethical issues with his behavior... but you can't just throw him under the bus without knowing any facts. You sound like paranoid femininsts and that does more harm than good in these situations.

    October 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  19. LBW

    There is more to this story. He has been with his wife for a long time, but has only been married to her a few years. These affairs have happened during this time. They must have some kind of arrangement and she must turn her head for the life style. He is still creepy to me.

    October 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Lionel

    Barbara, Debra, you have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not he took advantage of his position in order to have sex with them. It doesnt look as if anybody ever complained about him and he enjoys a good reputation – not that of a creepy predator.
    It's funny how, every time there is a story like this, some women (the conservatives and the feminists – who look more and more the same anyway) are extremely quick to use the big words "Abuse", "Predator", etc. As if, when a woman has sex with a man, she has to be a victim of something, and he has to be a perpetrator of something. As if women were fundamentally unable to freely make adult decisions. It's a very sad way of seeing things.

    October 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  21. john

    I stopped watching Letterman when he stopped being funny about 10 years ago. However, I look at how people are treated differently by the liberal media. How have Letterman, Polanski and Barney Frank been treated by their sex scandals/crimes?
    Now compare how have Larry Craig, Bristol Palin and Mark Sanford been treated? Letterman is a sleaze, but he didnt break the law(unless you count sexual harassment as a law). Polanksi has proved that raping a 13 year old girls is acceptable. Frank has been allowed to run a brothel for gays from his Massachussetts home.

    October 6, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  22. JC

    "You are all missing the political impact of a powerful man who chooses to have sex with the young female members of his staff. What does that mean to the rest of his staff?"

    They should have gotten a makeover before taking their jobs?

    October 6, 2009 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  23. Ben

    I think it should be "judgment" unless CNN is using the British version.

    October 6, 2009 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  24. Sal

    What is sick is how this seemed to be a big joke to him when he "came out" (read – presenting it his way before the press got hold of it). People were laughing as he told how he'd had sex with several staffers. Aside from the whole employer/employee thing, he was in a long-term relationship with someone (his current wife); sure, they weren't married at the time, but they might as well have been. It's a joke that he violated her trust over and over again? That's funny? That's worthy of applause? Really? How sad.

    October 6, 2009 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  25. Debra R

    I disagree Carmine:

    Bill Clinton is a serial sexual preditor and it sounds like his pal Dave is not too far behind. They took advantage of being the boss. That gives them an extrodinary amount of power over their employees.

    Clinton's mistake was that he perjured himself. Hillary's mistake was not dumping him and if Dave's wife is smart she will dump him too. Once a cheater always a cheater.

    October 6, 2009 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  26. Barbara

    You are all missing the political impact of a powerful man who chooses to have sex with the young female members of his staff. What does that mean to the rest of his staff? Did it impact who got raises and better assignments? This is not just about sex between consenting adults – it is also about the power relationships in a workplace setting.

    October 6, 2009 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  27. emil

    so its Ok to make fun of politicians who do this, but its not Ok to make fun of a comedian, isn't that hypocritical? Or is that only when a conservative is the one who got caught. Rip him a new asshole and see how he likes it. maybe now people will finally understand how Hillary Clinton feltfor all those years

    October 6, 2009 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  28. Sally

    It remains uncertain who the instigator was in this matter, but until YOU are the object of attention of a boss or supervisor you are not qualified to comment.

    October 6, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  29. rachele

    I don't understand why this was ever an issue. It happened between two consenting adults. It's not like he drugged and raped a 13-year-old child in a hot tub.

    October 6, 2009 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  30. Carmine

    This whole thing reminds me of the Bill Clinton affair. The only reason people are outraged is because Clinton and Letterman are celebrities. At the end of the day both of these guys are mere mortals just like you and I. Furthermore it is really none of our business what these folks do in thier private lives. The issues Dave is having are between him and his wife, just as the Lewinski business should have been between Bill and Hillary. If I were to go out on my wife there wouldn't be thousands of people wanting to burn me at the stake. My point is let Letterman and his wife work it out between themselves. You, the press, further victimize all involved with your hounding and sensationalism. Have a little respect. I don't condone his behavior, per se, but he is only a man with the same failings and shortcomings as the rest of us. We have ALL done things we are not proud of.

    October 6, 2009 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  31. Melissa

    I agree. I'm so tired of this. He's not a priest he's a just a man who hosts a tv show.
    Really, I am not shocked at this, so when his "integrity is questioned" like I've read in so many of these articles, I have to laugh.
    I'm sure nothing has ever happened like this in the history of man. He's not my husband, so who am I to judge. He never claimed to be perfect and this is just lame journalism.
    Let it go....

    October 6, 2009 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  32. janniejaye@yahoo.com

    Totally AGREE! It was BEFORE his marriage, the relationships were all adults and consensual, there is NO policy at his company against employees dating each other, (I've never known a workplace where employees DIDN'T date each other, they're ALL like soap operas). No one on his staff has ever had a bad thing to say about Dave. This is only about some nutcase jealous idiot trying to extort money because he's messed up his own life. And during 20 years of "dating" off and on, I highly doubt Dave's wife did not know he saw other woman too. I don't think she's stupid. She just hates that it's all out in the press and is embarrassed about that, which is justified.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |

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