David Letterman has admitted that he has his “work cut out” trying to patch up his marriage after he revealed on air last week that he had cheated on his wife with female staff members.

Letterman, 62, one of America’s most popular talk show hosts, shocked his audience, and the entertainment industry, when he admitted that he had been the target of an extortion attempt as a result of a series of affairs with women who worked with him.

Last night he again used his his popular Late Show With David Letterman to make a public statement – this time to apologise to his wife Regina Lasko, whom he married in March after dating for more than 20 years.

“She has been horribly hurt by my behaviour, and when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it’s your responsibility, you try to fix it,” Letterman, who has a five-year-old son with Ms Lasko, told his audience during a taping of his TV show in New York on Monday night.

Last Thursday Letterman revealed that he had been allegedly victimised in an extortion plot by a man who threatened to write a screenplay or book about various things he had done. “Creepy stuff … that I have had sex with women who work with me on this show,” Letterman said. “Yes, I have.”

The following day, Robert “Joe” Halderman, a producer for the CBS news programme 48 Hours, was arrested and accused of grand larceny after receiving a fake $2 million (£1.3 million) cheque from Letterman. Mr Halderman, who has pleaded not guilty to the extortion charges, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Yesterday Mr Halderman’s lawyer Gerald Shargel appeared on morning talk shows in the US to proclaim his client’s innocence and say that Letterman had given only one side of the story.

“David Letterman didn’t give his [Halderman's] side of the story, David Letterman gave what he wanted the public to know,” Mr Shargel said on NBC’s Today show.

“He wanted to get out ahead of the story, and that’s exactly what he did.”

Letterman hit back last night with his public apology to his wife and also apologised to his staff for putting them under the spotlight.

“Inadvertently, I just wasn’t thinking ahead,” Letterman said. “My thanks to the staff for, once again, putting up with something stupid I’ve gotten myself involved in.”

Audience members who attended the taping at the Ed Sullivan Theatre said Letterman had spoken frequently throughout the programme about the events. He also joked about the situation with guests Steve Martin and Martin Short.

“I’ll be honest with you folks, right now I’d give anything to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail,” he said, referring to the location where Mr Sanford, the Governor of South Carolina, claimed he was when he was actually with his mistress in Argentina.

“I got into the car this morning and the navigation lady wasn’t speaking to me,” Letterman added.

Letterman’s audience members praised the TV host’s honesty.

“It’s unfortunate but Dave is handling it just how he should have. He came out clean, told everybody what he thought … he’s a good guy,” Cliff Crumpton told the nypost.com as he waited to watch Letterman’s show.

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