Divorce and Blackmail

Divorce and Blackmail

Divorce and Blackmail

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Oct. 5 2009 4:42 PM

Divorce and Blackmail

On Saturday the New York Daily News ran an e-mail that Robert Halderman, charged with blackmailing David Letterman, wrote to his friends about his agony over his 11-year-old son moving from Connecticut to Colorado with his ex-wife (I can link to this piece , but not the e-mail). It’s a Freudian key into what happened to Halderman, and helps explain how this successful, accomplished person came up with his nutty plan to destroy Letterman. Here was Halderman losing his son, losing his girlfriend, (Letterman’s assistant, who was a former lover of the talk show host), and drowning in debt. So he makes Letterman his nemesis, and projects all his misery and failure onto him. You can imagine Halderman seething alone every night, quietly going crazy, and deciding all his problems are actually Letterman’s fault, that Letterman doesn’t deserve to have everything, when he has nothing. The strange subtext of all this is just how destructive divorce can be. When your family comes apart you can lose your relationship with your kids, your money, and your mind.

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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.