A TV producer accused of trying to blackmail David Letterman for $2 million said he needed money to visit his son and would mask the transaction as a business deal, prosecutors said yesterday. Robert J. “Joe’’ Halderman also told the comedian’s lawyer he would keep copies of his information on Letterman’s personal life for “protection’’ and acknowledged misgivings about the scheme, Manhattan prosecutors said in court papers. Halderman wants a judge to dismiss the attempted grand larceny charge against him, saying he was just shopping a screenplay. Prosecutors, in a court filing asking that the charges be upheld, said Halderman’s comments make it “crystal clear’’ that his goal was extortion. Halderman told Letterman’s lawyer that he needed money to visit his son, who he said lived 2,000 miles away, prosecutors said.
Quaid a fugitive
Arrest warrants were issued yesterday for actor Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, after they failed to appear for a court hearing in Santa Barbara, Calif., on a felony charge that they defrauded an innkeeper. The no-show will cost the couple $40,000 in forfeited bail. Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said the couple are felony fugitives again and will have to post $40,000 if arrested.
Lohan dad arrested
Lindsay Lohan’s estranged father is accused of violating an order of protection by calling his estranged girlfriend on Long Island. Michael Lohan was arrested Monday on a misdemeanor charge of criminal contempt. In June, a judge said he would avoid prosecution on a misdemeanor charge of aggravated harassment if he stayed out of trouble for a year.
ABBA makes the cut
ABBA, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, The Hollies, and The Stooges are headed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The list of new inductees was released yesterday by the Cleveland hall. ABBA and The Stooges made it in after being nominated previously but not making the cut.
Former Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer was unable to complete a performance in Albuquerque and was briefly hospitalized because of dehydration, high altitude sickness, and vertigo. A posting on his website says the 50-year-old singer recovered quickly and would perform as scheduled last night in Phoenix.