David Letterman’s sex scandal in 2009 nearly destroyed his marriage and his career. But seven years on he is still happily married to his wife Regina Lasko.
David Letterman has always been private. Co-workers have called him a ‘recluse’ and it is said that he rarely socializes with his A-list guests, but instead prefers the company of his staff. He has very much cultivated an on-screen persona, which is very separate from his private person.
David was first married in 1969 to Michelle Cook, apparently his college sweetheart. But their relationship crumbled in 1977 and ended in divorce. We don’t know much about his first marriage or the divorce, but it was reportedly an ugly divorce and it left David wary to ever get married again. He said of his marriage that he behaved badly, indicating that it was likely his fault that it ended.
Did he cheat on his wife? We don’t know, but given what we learned about him later, it’s entirely possible.
His ex-girlfriend Merrill Markoe blogged after his sex-scandal revelation that he had promised her that she would be the only woman he would ever cheat on. It seems there is a pattern.
Since 1986 he has been with Regina Lasko. She was a staffer on the Late Show and apparently his type: funny and smart. He doesn’t go in for the hot ones, the beautiful ones by most standards. He likes his women to have a good sense of humour and to be intelligent. Regina seems to have ticked both boxes and when David speaks of her, he does so fondly and she does sound funny.
Regina may well be the love of his life, but that didn’t stop him from cheating on her. He did so as early as the early 90’s.
His staff knew that David was sleeping with female staffers. Not all of them, not all the time and not all of them at once. He is known to have had some ongoing affairs over the years, but all of them seem to only have been about sex. David always went home to Regina.
He didn’t really seem to think that he was doing anything wrong and his staff wasn’t too worried, because he wasn’t married and Regina was a bit of a myth, because nobody ever really saw her with David.
None of this makes his behaviour excusable or even understandable.
It does make us question a little why Regina ended up forgiving him in the end, but that’s between her and David.
In 2009 it all came crumbling down. David was extorted for $2 million, because of an affair he had with one of his staffers. It was the woman’s boyfriend, who blackmailed David. But nobody blackmails David Letterman. He went to his attorney, who tipped off the DA. They handed over a fake check to the guy in question, who was apprehended when he tried to cash it in.
That was only the beginning of the scandal, however.
David went on his show and publicly admitted to what he had done, apologizing to just about everyone, but mostly his wife. He had married Regina in 2009, only six months before the scandal broke in the news.
At the time it looked as if David and Regina wouldn’t see their first wedding anniversary. They had been together for over two decades and six months into their marriage it was all over?
But David fought. He realized that CBS could fire him, but that was secondary to his marriage. All of a sudden he needed to save his family. It was only then that he realized what he had done. That he had jeopardized it all for sex.
David admitted that they had come very close indeed to getting a divorce. Somehow he talked Regina out of it. He didn’t want to lose her or his son.
It’s clear that David adores Harry. He is as dedicated a father as he can be and he loves his wife.
It’s safe to say that his cheating days are over. David was not fired from his show and he kept his wife and son. He appreciates his blessings and won’t jeopardize them again. David became a father late in life and it took him thirty years to get married again after his first divorce. It doesn’t look as if he ever wants to give up on being a husband and father and another divorce seems unlikely at this stage, which is just as well.