Former late-night host David Letterman offered an apology to a former staffer 10 years after she accused himof what she called sexual favoritism among the women who worked for him.
Comedy writer Nell Scovell penned aVanity Fair piece in 2009 afterLetterman admitted on his show that he was being blackmailed for million over revelationsthat hedslept with women on his staff.
Scovell wrote that she learnedduring her five-month tenure on NBCs Late Night in 1990 thatfew women had been hired as writers, and that Letterman had preferences for staffers who accepted his advances.
Did Dave hit on me? No. Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Yes. Did that create a hostile work environment? Yes. Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no, she wrote.
Scovell explained at the time that she chose to speak out because people who have no knowledge of the situation are voicing opinions, so why not me? noting the defense Letterman received from Barbara Walters, who then was co-hosting The View.She alsoexpressed hope that her commentary would help improve the situation for female writers which she noted had not improved since she left late-night comedy.
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Ten years later, Letterman agreed to sit down with her. She asked him to read her piece as homework.
You know, the other night I read the piece that you wrote 10 years ago, Letterman began in a follow-up piece written by Scovell on Wednesday. And I thought, Holy s---, this is so disturbing and, sadly, a perspective that I did not have because the only perspective I had was in here... Im sorry I was that way and I was happy to have read the piece because it wasnt angering. I felt horrible because who wants to be the guy that makes people unhappy to work where theyre working? I dont want to be that guy. Im not that guy now. I was that guy then.
Letterman told Scovell he didnt read her piece at the time because he was more focused on saving his marriage than the show. He also revealed how hes had talks with his now-15-year-old son about the controversy.
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I didnt want to lose my family and I worked and worked and worked until I learned the obvious lessons, Letterman explained. I mean, I shouldnt have had to learn them because they were obvious. I knew what I was doing was not good.
He continued, My son knows about this period of my life. We have conversations about girls and about his mother and how we treat her. I dont think he will make these mistakes, and Im sorry I did.B: