In one of the oddest, most riveting moments in the history of late night television, The Late Show host David Letterman spent about ten minutes of last night's show spilling details about his personal life, explaining that he'd had sex with several female staffers and that a person who knew about the affairs had threatened to put what he knew in a movie script unless Letterman paid him two million dollars. Instead, Letterman took the extortion threats to law enforcement authorities, and participated in a sting that led to the extortionist's arrest. This story in The New York Daily News provides some of the best behind-the-scenes detail of last night's on-air confession, including the name of the extortionist, Robert Halderman, who's a producer on the CBS show 48 Hours, and reportedly an ex-boyfriend of Stephanie Birkitt, a Late Show staffer that Letterman used to stick in comedy bits. As for what this means to Letterman's show (which has been riding high in the ratings), his public image (which has made him a target of conservatives in the past), or his recent marriage (to a woman he'd dated for 23 years before finally agreeing to marry her this past March), that will surely all shake out in the weeks to come. For now, "The Confession" joins the list of astonishing Letterman broadcasts:

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