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Alleged blackmailer used pages from Letterman's assistant's diary in plot

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Robert Halderman
, the CBS producer accused of blackmailing David Letterman, used pages from former assistant Stephanie Birkitt's diary, which described her affair with the TV host, a law enforcement official confirmed to the AP on Monday.

The 34-year-old Birkitt works on the show and lived in Norwalk, Conn., with Halderman (who pleaded not guilty to extortion on Friday) until August. Halderman copied parts of Birkitt's diary, which contained details of her affair with Letterman, and tried to use it as blackmail fodder, said the official, who didn't want to be identified because of the ongoing investigation.

Birkitt frequently appeared on camera with Letterman in comedy bits and also has worked at 48 Hours Mystery, of which Halderman is a producer. Halderman apparently copied the pages before they broke up, using them together with other e-mails and information in a package left in Letterman's limousine that was intended to extort money from him, officials said.

His attorney, Gerald Shargel, said Monday the charge against his client is "so obviously out of character to the point of not making any sense." Shargel said that Letterman manipulates audiences for a living and that to think he "gave the entire story and there's nothing more to be said is simply wrong."

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:59am]

    

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