"I don't know this person, I've never met this person. I have no idea who or what he is or is capable of,” Robert Halderman told Letterman’s wire-wearing lawyer, Manhattan prosecutors revealed on Monday, according to reports.
Prosecutors accuse the 52-year-old “48 Hours” producer of trying to shake down Letterman for $2 million to keep embarrassing info about the late night comic’s personal life private. Halderman’s defense lawyer claims his client was simply shopping a screenplay.
The arrest prompted Letterman to reveal on-air that he’d had sex with staffers who had worked on his show and that he’d cooperated with authorities to nab the suspected blackmailer.
Prosecutors allege that in secretly taped conversations between Halderman and Letterman’s lawyer, James Jackoway, Halderman pledged to sign a confidentiality agreement not to make the information he was in possession of public.
But Halderman dictated he would still keep extra copies of his tawdry files for “protection,” as he feared Letterman might retaliate against him, prosecutors said.
"What's to stop somebody from calling up [CBS' top executive] Les Moonves and getting me fired? What is, what is to stop somebody from hurting me?" Halderman allegedly said, according to the New York Daily News.
He apparently feared the worst.
"As I said to you, the only way to be sure I never talk to anybody is for somebody to kill me,” he said on tape, the News reported. “Well, you know, I don't want that to happen."
Prosecutors also revealed that Halderman told Jackaway that he needed the money because he couldn't afford visit his son, who lived 2,000 miles away.
"So this solves that problem," he allegedly said.
If convicted, Halderman faces 15 years in jail, according to the AP.