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January 7, 1979 |
Plymouth, New Hampshire
Stephanie Anne Birkitt (born January 7, 1979) was an assistant to David Letterman on Late Show with David Letterman. Although Birkitt was usually treated as a character named Vicki, in some of her appearances, Letterman referred to her by various other surreal nicknames such as Smitty, Kitty, Monty, Gunter, and Dutch. It has been alleged that she and Letterman were lovers.
Early life and education
Birkitt was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire — her mother is an assistant principal and her father is a dentist. She graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1997, with a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in communications.
In February 2009, Birkitt passed the New York State and Connecticut bar examinations. Birkitt has been a licensed attorney in California since 2011. She also has an active Connecticut lawyer license since 2009.
After graduation from college, Birkitt's career at CBS started when she became a member of the CBS page program. She worked as an intern for CBS News, 48 Hours, and the Late Show during the spring of 1996. She was an associate producer at 48 Hours on segments for correspondent Erin Moriarty. Deciding she was not "much of a news hound," she applied for a job as an office worker for David Letterman, helping to handle his charities and his Indy car racing team.
Her employment with Letterman led to Birkitt's first appearance on the Late Show, on May 24, 1996. Her next appearance came more than four years later, on December 26, 2000, when Letterman called her in her office during the show. Beginning in January 2001, Letterman began to call her regularly as an on-air feature of the show. Said Birkitt, "He started talking to me more, and we developed a rapport."
By 2002, Birkitt began to be featured on the Late Show as a character outside of her role as Letterman's assistant. She appeared during the CBS Mailbag segment numerous times, sometimes donning costumes that related to a specific ongoing festival or event. She was given a number of on-air names, including Vicki, Smitty, Kitty, Monty, Gunter, and Dutch. She interviewed Survivor castoffs, asking them "Did you see or touch any monkeys?" much to the feigned displeasure of Letterman. In 2002, she was named #21 in USA Today's "Pop Candy's 100 People of the Year!" list. As herself, she gave on-air reports from the sites of the Winter Olympics in 2002 and in 2006. In all, she made more than 250 appearances on the show between 1996 and 2008.
In addition to her appearances on Late Show with David Letterman, Birkitt co-hosted The Tony Mendez Show, a spin-off program with Tony Mendez (also known as "The Cue Card Boy") that is hosted on the Late Show website.
Birkitt described her relationship with Letterman in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2004. In the article, titled "Letterman Aide is Dave's Main Tease", Birkitt stated, "[Letterman is] just playful. We play catch sometimes in the office, and we all go to screenings together. We eat food together, we sit around and watch TV together and goof on people. And he teases me in real life, too, but I give it back a lot more in real life."
On October 1, 2009, Letterman announced on-air that he had been the victim of an extortion attempt, in which an alleged blackmailer — since identified by police as CBS television producer Joe Halderman — threatened to reveal that Letterman had engaged in sexual affairs with multiple female employees. Letterman said that the allegation was true, but did not reveal the names or any identifying information of the female employees. Soon afterward, the extortionist was identified by media as a former boyfriend of Birkitt, and anonymous sources alleged that Birkitt and Letterman had had a sexual relationship.
Birkitt reportedly was neither aware of nor involved in the blackmail attempt. According to CBS News, Birkitt and the CBS News producer Joe Halderman lived together in Halderman's Norwalk, Connecticut home until August 2009, when she reportedly moved out; she was also romantically linked to Letterman during the same time. The New York Post broke a story on October 6 that Birkitt had an affair with Letterman, which continued during her relationship with Halderman. Copies of Birkitt's diary, as well as emails between her and Letterman, were reportedly the basis of the blackmail package allegedly placed in Letterman's car by Halderman.
- Randy James (2009-10-05). "2-Min Bio: Stephanie Birkitt: Letterman's Lover?". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "The Woman at the Center of the Letterman Scandal - Late Show With David Letterman, David Letterman : People.com". people.com. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- Letterman's Monday mea culpa was OK ... but did this really belong on the show? from blogs.kansascity.com
- List of Stephanie Birkitt's Appearances on Late Show
- Bliss, Gil (2004-03-21). "Just hanging out with Letterman". Manchester New Hampshire: New Hampshire Sunday News (Union Leader). pp. E6.
- September 2003 interview with Birkitt from the Wake Forest University website
- New York State Bar Exam Results
- http://www.jud.ct.gov/CBEC/results_09Feb.pdf[dead link]
- Brett Leveridge (2002-05-24). "David Letterman's Girl Friday tells all". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- Whitney Matheson (2002-12-07). "Pop Candy's 100 People of the Year!". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Stephanie Birkitt, Woman Reportedly Involved in Letterman Scandal, in a Revealing 2004 Interview: "He’s Just Playful". Wall Street Journal. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Bill Carter (2009-10-07). "Inside CBS, Disbelief at an Arrest". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Cummings, Julian (2010-03-09). "Man pleads guilty in Letterman blackmail case". CNN. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- Schapiro, Rich. From David Letterman's perky sidekick, Stephanie Birkitt is now woman in the middle of controversy, New York Daily News, October 2, 2009.
- Snead, Elizabeth. David Letterman's former assistant Stephanie Birkitt allegedly involved in extortion plot, Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2009.
- James, Randy. Stephanie Birkitt: Letterman's Lover?, TIME, October 2, 2009.
- Celona, Larry; Simeone, Jessica; Mangan, Dan (2009-10-06). "Letterman's gal in double play". New York Post. pp. 1, 5. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "Report: Stephanie Birkitt (Pictures) Involved With Letterman and Alleged Extortionist at Same Time". CBS. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- "Stephanie Birkitt Secret Diary at Center of Letterman Sex Extortion, Say Cops". CBS News/Associated Press. 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2009-10-05.