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David Letterman: "I Should Get an Understudy"

USMagazine, Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 6:28am (PDT)

David Letterman is continuing to poke fun at his $2 million sexual extortion scandal.

"I was thinking we should get an understudy for me, because there's a wide variety of reasons I might not be able to continue," he cracked on his show Tuesday.

Letterman, 62, didn't mention the affairs directly or his alleged blackmailer, 48 Hours producer Robert "Joe" Halderman.

When his guest, actress Eliza Dushku, walked on stage, he also didnandrsquo;t greet her with his usual peck-on-the-cheek. Instead, he shook her hand.

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The scandal has been doing well for his show.

Around 5.8 million viewers tuned into his late night program Thursday when he announced he had engaged in sexual affairs with his female employees. His show Monday - during which he apologized to wife Regina Lasko - attracted 5.7 million viewers.

Meanwhile, new details continue to surface about Letterman's relationship with former assistant, Stephanie Birkitt, who is at the center of the extortion plot.

Birkitt, 34, and Halderman, 51, lived together from early 2005 until August of this year at his Connecticut home.

In December 2008, Halderman found a diary, in which Birkitt detailed her fling with Letterman, according to the New York Post. When Halderman confronted her, she insisted they were just friends. Halderman got angry, the Post reported, because he didn't believe her.

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This past March, Letterman wed longtime love Regina Lasko, with whom he has a son, Harry, 5.

By August, Birkitt and Halderman had split. In September, Halderman reportedly began his alleged extortion plot against Letterman.

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