David Letterman was in mea culpa mode in a sit-down chat with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night. But while he apologized profusely for the pain he had caused his wife when an extramarital affair with a young staffer was revealed, he was less remorseful when asked about his awkward sex joke about Sarah Palin's 14-year-old daughter, Willow.
Letterman, appearing on Winfrey's OWN show "Oprah's Next Chapter," said he was unsure his wife would stay with him when news emerged in 2009 that he had been being blackmailed over an extramarital affair. Letterman and his wife, Regina Lasko, had been married just six months at the time and shared a young son.
“I have no one to blame but myself,” he told Winfrey, adding later. "I'm still trying to fix it.”
But Letterman said the only reason he apologized to Sarah Palin after he was roundly criticized for making a sex joke on “Late Night” about Willow, then 14, was so that he could continue to make jokes about the former Vice Presidential candidate.
“I felt like Sarah Palin was somebody I wanted to be able to continue to make fun of,” he said. “And I felt like if I don’t apologize … I will not be able to go forward [with that].”
Letterman did claim genuine remorse for any pain and embarrassment he may have caused the young teen, explaining he thought he was making a sex joke about about Bristol, who was older. “Nice going, you got the wrong daughter,” he said, saying it was “stupid joke that fell into dumb luck and got worse.”