Letterman makes public apology to wife

David Letterman apologized to his wife on Monday's Late Show, saying she had been "horribly hurt" by his admission he'd had sex with women who worked for him.

David Letterman apologized to his wife, Regina Lasko, on Monday's Late Show, saying she had been "horribly hurt by my behaviour."

The late-night television host vowed to repair his relationship with Lasko.

"If you hurt a person like that, and it's your responsibility, you try to fix it," he said in reference to his wife.

"Let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me," said Letterman.

Monday's show was the first taped since Thursday, when Letterman disclosed he had had sexual relationships with women who worked for him and that he had been the victim of an alleged $2-million blackmail threat to expose those relationships.

Letterman also apologized to his staff for the situation.

"Inadvertently, I just wasn't thinking ahead," Letterman said. "My thanks to the staff for, once again, putting up with something stupid I've gotten myself involved in."

He arrived on stage to applause and cheers from his studio audience. After drinking it in, he grinned sheepishly and inquired, with a mock stammer, "Did your, did your weekend just fly by?"

After pausing for the audience's sympathetic laughter, he went on: "I mean, I'll be honest with you folks — right now, I would give anything to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail."

"I got into the car this morning," he added, "and the navigation lady wasn't speaking to me. Ouch."

In a more sombre display, Letterman voiced his mea culpa.

It is unclear how many women Letterman had sex with, and he has offered no specifics.

But one of his affairs was with Stephanie Birkitt, who was an assistant to Letterman and frequently appeared on camera with the host in comedy bits. Birkitt went to live with Robert Halderman, a CBS News producer, who found her diary describing her relationship with Letterman and allegedly used it to help blackmail him, a law enforcement official confirmed Monday.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Halderman, a producer for the true-crime show 48 Hours Mystery, pleaded not guilty last week to extortion charges.