David Letterman should know that infidelity is no joke.
Photo: AP/ John P. Filo
Someone should inform David Letterman that infidelity is no joke.
Just ask any person -- male or female -- who has ever been cheated on.
Does Letterman’s wife, Regina Lasko, think his workplace sexual escapades are a laughing matter?
She has been betrayed by her new husband (they were married in March of this year), the father of her 5 year old son, and her long-time lover ( they’ve been seeing each other for over 20 years.). The apology he made to her during the taping of his this afternoon which is schedule to air tonight, is apology is way overdue.
Granted, under the circumstances, Letterman probably had no choice but to go public with the story of how and why Robert (Joe) Haldeman allegedly tried to blackmail him. Halderman allegedly attempted to extort $2 million from Letterman under the threat of exposing his sexual relationships with female members of his staff. Letterman’s breaking the news himself on Thursday night’s show, was a form of damage control.
Letterman’s confession that he had sex with some of his female employees was bad enough. (See article entitled David Letterman Broke 2 Cardinal Rules Governing Workplace Romance) But the manner in which he revealed these workplace affairs made the situation that much worse.
So far, only two women, Stephanie Birkitt and Holly Hester, have come forward. We still don’t know how many women were actually involved.
Letterman made light of the matter, and had his studio laughing raucously, instead of treating his infidelity as the serious matter that it is.
Infidelity Causes Many of Society’s Problems
Directly or indirectly, infidelity is responsible for many of the problems in society today – divorce, broken homes, troubled teens, domestic violence, financial ruin, the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, alcoholism, drug addiction, murder, assault, and suicide, just to name a few.
• Numerous distraught or enraged victims of infidelity have killed or seriously injured their cheating mates.
• Countless cheaters have been assaulted, maimed, or murdered by their mistress’s or lover’s spouse or significant other.
• Families have been forced onto the welfare rolls because of irresponsible cheaters who abandoned their families for the Other Woman of the Other Man.
• Illicit affairs have led to unwanted pregnancies which, in turn, have led to abortions or abandoned babies.
• Many infidelity victims turn to drug or alcohol addiction as a means of coping with their betrayal.
• Cheaters who refuse to practice safe sex are responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases.
• Many husbands and wives are facing financial ruin because a cheating spouse used family funds to finance his or her affair.
• Countless episodes of domestic violence are triggered by infidelity – a cheating husband overcome by guilt comes home and batters his unsuspecting wife -- or a husband batters a cheating wife.
• Many infidelity victims unable to cope with betrayal, have committed suicide.
None of these things are laughing matters.
We Need to Stop Treating Infidelity as a Joke
Yet infidelity continues to be treated as a form of entertainment. It’s the butt of many jokes, and is a recurring theme in soap operas, novels movies, talk shows, and gossip columns.
Infidelity has become such a popular form of entertainment that at first Letterman’s audience thought his confession was just another joke.
Yet, infidelity, in one form or another, affects an estimated 80% of all marriages and committed relationships today.
Whenever infidelity is glamorized, dramatized or trivialized by someone in the public eye, or treated as a form of entertainment, it does nothing to discourage others from cheating on their mates.
Though Letterman issued apologies to his wife, and to female staff members, he still elicited laughs from his studio audience for a few infidelity-related comments he made.
It’s time for Letterman – and everybody else - to stop treating infidelity like it’s a joke.
Unless we start treating infidelity with the seriousness it deserves, the infidelity epidemic will continue to spread.
*** © copyright 2009 Ruth Houston
Ruth Houston is a New York-based infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on infidelity issues in the news. She is the author of Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, the founder of InfidelityAdvice.com and publishes the Infidelity News and Views blog at http://infidelitynewsandviews.blogspot.com .
For more more information on the topic of workplace romance, office affairs, and workplace or work spouse infidelity, see
14 Ways Your Work Spouse Relationship Could Sabotage Your Career
13 Things You Didn't Know About Signs of Infidelity