Letterman opens up to Oprah

David Letterman talked about his infidelities, as well as his rivalry with Winfrey and Jay Leno

Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman. Michael Conroy / AP Photo
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Three years after an extortion scandal that led him to bare his infidelities, David Letterman said he sees a psychiatrist once a week. On Sunday, he gave an extraordinary interview to Oprah Winfrey on her OWN network in which he talked about his feud with her and Jay Leno and about his efforts to make amends for his affairs with Late Show staff members that became public in 2009.

"For a long time I thought I was a decent guy," Letterman said. "But yet I was still capable of behaviour that wasn't coincidental to leading a decent life. That's what I'm working on. I want to really be the person I believe that I was. I wanna be a good person."

Letterman said his wife, Regina, has forgiven him, but he still hasn't forgiven himself. He said he went through depression and now has compassion for others who have gone through it.

"I always thought: 'Aw, you're depressed? Go do some push-ups and you'll feel better'," he said. "But it's not that."

Letterman and Winfrey cleared the air on their own feud, which fuelled Letterman's comedy for years. Letterman said he believed it began when he called to ask Winfrey to appear on Late Show and she would not agree to appear. Winfrey said she declined because she had been on Letterman's show before and there were drunk people in the audience who made it uncomfortable. "I didn't want to have that experience again," she said. "That's really all it was for me."

Letterman apologised to Winfrey, took her hand and kissed it. "I hope we can put this behind us, Oprah," he said.

"Let us do it, David," she said.

Despite Letterman's often withering comments about his rival Leno, he believes they are still friends. "He is the funniest guy I've ever known," Letterman said. "Just the smartest, a wonderful observationalist. Therefore, the fact that he is also, maybe, the most insecure person I have ever known, I could never reconcile that." - AP