After last week’s admission that he’d been blackmailed for having sex with former “Late Show” employees, David Letterman issued a mea culpa on last night’s show, apologizing to his staff and to his wife, Regina Lasko. First he delivered a monologue that was funnier than it was awkward, in which he quipped: “Right now, I would give anything to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I get in the car this morning and the navigation lady wasn’t speaking to me. Ouch!” Then Letterman went on to say that he hadn’t thought out how his admission last week would affect his staffers and he apologized for the relentless harassment they’ve endured from the press for the last few days. “I would like to set the record straight,” he said. “No, I am not having sex with these women. Those episodes are in the past. My apologies for subjecting them to that vulnerability and to being browbeaten and humiliated.” This brings up an interesting point: How many current female staffers are now being accused of having a sexual relationship with Dave? How many women who have earned promotions throughout the years are now suspected of having climbed the ranks horizontally? And I wonder if any of them have had any ‘splainin’ to do to their partners at home.Years ago, when I was in graduate school, I was one of two assistants for the head of my department (a male). During my first year as assistant, my boss began sleeping with the other assistant. Word got around and before long, I was fielding stares in the elevators and whispers when I passed groups of professors and other grad students congregating in the hallways. People heard rumors my boss was sleeping with one of his assistants and they assumed it was me (especially since the other assistant was still legally married when the affair started). It was awkward and embarrassing, and I couldn’t help but wonder if people thought I got special favors (the assistantship, for one, which paid my tuition and a monthly stipend, admission into the PhD program, etc.) because they imagined I was banging the boss. Lucky for me, the assistant he was banging got pregnant, he claimed responsibility, they got married and and five years later they have three children together. All of this is to say: I empathize with Letterman’s female staffers, and I can only imagine how unpleasant and awkward their experience must be under such a public microscope. Letterman was right to apologize to them.
Finally, after he made amends with his staff, Letterman turned the focus to his wife. He said he’s hurt her “horribly” and can only hope to eventually “fix things.” “Let me tell you folks,” he said directly to the camera, “I got my work cut out for me.” Here’s hoping he’s successful. Clip above.