A new biography by New York Times reporter Jason Zinoman sheds some light on how Letterman handled this messy and turbulent period, thanks to interviews with those among his inner circle.
In 2009, David Letterman was embroiled in a blackmail scandal that not only rocked the late night TV world, but also shook his own life up pretty badly. The former Late Show host was facing extortion from a CBS News producer who had discovered that Letterman was engaged in an affair with his assistant.
To put an end to the saga, Letterman decided to instead come clean on his show. Obviously, Letterman's acts are ultimately what caused this scandal, so he is far from blameless in this entire fiasco, but it sounds like the event sent him to a pretty low point in his life.
A new biography by New York Times reporter Jason Zinoman sheds some light on how Letterman handled this messy and turbulent period, thanks to interviews with those among his inner circle. People obtained a copy of Zinoman's book, titled Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night, and shared the details from it.
"I’m in hell. I will always be in hell until the day after, when I will go to hell," Letterman reportedly said to a Late Show writer in the lead-up to the episode in which he announced the scandal.
Zinoman's book also has a quote that reveals the depths of Letterman's depression following his admission: "It was akin to having killed your family in a car crash. It was like that to me," Letterman said, per the book. ”I was afraid my family was gone.”
Even if the scandal was caused by decisions that Letterman made, those feelings are no joke. Particularly when you consider that it's difficult for men to talk about their depression at all. The late night legend is certainly at a better place in his life now, but it just goes to show how a traumatic or stressful event like this can bring anyone to an all-time emotional low.