Letterman subject of restraining order
Woman says TV host courted her with code words, gestures
Thursday, December 22, 2005; Posted: 1:21 p.m. EST (18:21 GMT)
SANTA FE, New Mexico (AP) -- Lawyers for David Letterman want a judge to quash a restraining order granted to a Santa Fe woman who contends the CBS late-night host used code words to show he wanted to marry her and train her as his co-host.
A state judge granted a temporary restraining order to Colleen Nestler, who alleged in a request filed last Thursday that Letterman has forced her to go bankrupt and caused her "mental cruelty" and "sleep deprivation" since May 1994.
Nestler requested that Letterman, who tapes his show in New York, stay at least 3 yards away and not "think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering."
Lawyers for Letterman, in a motion filed Tuesday, contend the order is without merit and asked state District Judge Daniel Sanchez to quash it.
"Celebrities deserve protection of their reputation and legal rights when the occasional fan becomes dangerous or deluded," Albuquerque lawyer Pat Rogers wrote in the motion.
Nestler told The Associated Press by telephone Wednesday that she had no comment pending her request for a permanent restraining order "and I pray to God I get it."
Sanchez set a Jan. 12 hearing on the permanent order.
Letterman's longtime Los Angeles lawyer, Jim Jackoway, said Nestler's claims were "obviously absurd and frivolous."
"This constitutes an unfortunate abuse of the judicial process," he said.
Nestler's application for a restraining order was accompanied by a six-page typed letter in which she said Letterman used code words, gestures and "eye expressions" to convey his desires for her.
She wrote that she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" after his "Late Show" began in 1993, and that he responded in code words and gestures, asking her to come East.
She said he asked her to be his wife during a televised "teaser" for his show by saying, "Marry me, Oprah." Her letter said Oprah was the first of many code names for her and that the coded vocabulary increased and changed with time.
Her letter does not say why she recently sought a restraining order.
Rogers' motion to quash the order contends the court lacks jurisdiction over Letterman, that Nestler never served him with restraining order papers, and that she didn't meet other procedural requirements.
MY code name is "Madonna."