Since David Letterman gave his public apology on national TV last week, the David Letterman sexploitation scandal only continues to grow. Over the weekend, the names of two women who had sex with Letterman were released and, on his Monday night show, according to CNN, David Letterman apologized to his wife. In the coming weeks, it’s likely the names of more women who had affairs with Letterman will become public and, as has already happened, talking heads on TV talk shows will rush to these women’s defense. In a day and age where adult women having consensual sex with their bosses has become quite normal, why is everyone rushing to protect these women and why aren’t more people giving them credit?
Since the middle of last week, one ‘expert’ after another has been on TV talk and news shows giving opinions about the David Letterman sexploitation case, and making comments about women being pushed into having sex by their bosses. They then go on to talk about the potential for a damaged career, pressure from a woman’s boss forcing the woman to do things they don’t want to do, and finish up by talking about ‘ruined lives’. Of course, this scenario still happens, even in the 21st century but, in the David Letterman case, so far there hasn’t been one piece of evidence to even hint at that being true. Neither of the women David Letterman had sex with has come forward to say she was pushed into it, and not one of them seems to have been a casual thing.
One of the latest women to come forward, Holly Hester, is a former Letterman intern. According to TMZ, Letterman asked her out to see a movie while she was still a student a NYU and, subsequently, they dated for almost a year. Hardly a case of being forced into something against her will.
Neither is the case of Stephanie Birkitt, who dated David Letterman for several years. In a 2002 Entertainment Weekly interview, Birkitt even called Letterman, “the best boss I’ve ever had”. Several members of staff over the years have also talked about Letterman, saying how nice he was, how kind and how great to work for. Not likely the profile of a boss who would intimidate female staff members into having sex with him.
One thing much of the media seems to be missing in all this is the emotional maturity of the women involved in the exploitation scandal. In every mention of them so far, the women come off as being mature, responsible adults who make good decisions about their lives. Neither of them have been in any scandals before, neither are woefully immature or simply uneducated a la Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones, and both seem to be successful in life and with good heads on their shoulders. They were asked out by an older man, David Letterman, who just happened to be their boss, and they said yes. In every case, so far, Letterman didn’t act like this was a one-night-stand but treated them well, kept very discreet and,as yet, neither has had anything bad to say about him.
In fact, maybe it’s about time the news media gave these women credit for making mature, adult decisions about their sex lives and who they wanted to have a relationship with? After all, nobody in this scenario was married, including David Letterman, so why is it any business of ours? And why do we feel the need to protect them? They sure as heck aren’t asking us to.
Entertainment Weekly – David Letterman’s Girl Friday Tells All