David Letterman kept a secret bedroom at his talk show’s studio that only a select few female staffers were allowed to visit, it has been claimed. The television host sensationally admitted last week that he had a number of affairs with employees after allegedly being blackmailed for $2million. Now staff at the Late Show claim their boss has long kept a bedroom they dubbed ‘the bunker’ in the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York where his show is taped.
And they insisted that it was strictly off-limits to anyone but his ‘favourite females’.
‘He doesn’t have to come out - he has a suite upstairs,’ one staff member said. 'It’s off limits to pretty much everybody.
‘If he is having an affair or fooling around with somebody at work, she wouldn’t be noticed coming in or out, or seen as something strange because she works there.’
Located in the cavernous Ed Sullivan Theatre close to Times Square, Letterman’s office comes with a reception area as well, a source said.
However, a spokesman for Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, denied the claim. A source close to Letterman said the host simply sleeps on the fold-out couch on Mondays, when he drives from his weekend home in North Salem in upstate New York to the Broadway studio at 2 or 3am. Letterman stays at his apartment in downtown neighbourhood TriBeCa during the rest of the filming week, but he is also known among staff as a night owl and for keeping odd hours at his office. While the show usually wraps by 7pm, sometimes he stays and watches the broadcast of his show in his office at night, an insider said.
‘He doesn’t work regular hours,’ the Letterman source said. ‘It’s not a 9-to-5 place.’ Late Show sources said female employees always did well within Letterman’s organisation. ‘Dave has a great track record of promoting women on the show - three of the five executive producers are women, and all of them have been with him for more than 20 years,’ said another high-ranking staffer. Another source described the show as ‘a very female-friendly place. He’s got all these strong women working for him. Strong women survive there.’
Tasks Letterman assigned his younger female workers ranged from doing his Christmas shopping to having his car ready at the theatre exit. Staffers were not surprised that the boss-employee relationship sometimes crossed the line.
‘There’s always rumours. But I never heard of anyone saying that they were sexually exploited by him,’ said one employee. ‘He worked really hard all the time. It didn’t surprise me that there’d be something that would go on in the workplace.’
Letterman has a five-year-old son with his long-term partner Regina Lasko whom he married in March and has always fiercely guarded his private live. But that veil was lifted on Thursday night, when he told viewers that he was the victim of an alleged extortion plot and admitted on-air to sleeping with staff members. 48 Hours Mystery producer Robert ‘Joe’ Halderman, 51, has been arrested for the alleged blackmail. Manhattan prosecutors say Halderman threatened to publicly reveal Letterman’s trysts. Letterman’s former personal assistant, Stephanie Birkitt, 34 - Halderman’s live-in girlfriend until last month - has been identified as one of his lovers.
He allegedly attempted to shake down Letterman with a tell-all screenplay, along with salacious e-mails between the comic and Birkitt, and a secret sex diary the woman kept in their home in Norwalk, Connecticut. At her parents’ home in New Hampshire, Birkitt’s father, Steven, said his daughter was dealing with the issue. When asked if she was OK, he said, ‘I guess.’ ‘It’s a tough time, that’s really all I can say,’ he added.