David Letterman needs to focus on his marriage to Regina Lasko

BY Amy Eisinger and Christina Boyle

David Letterman talked about needing to protect the other women in his life from a blackmail scheme, but experts said his top priority should be long-term partner Regina Lasko.

The former "Late Night" staffer has been his confidant for 23 years, the mother of his son, Harry, for five and his wife since March.

She has always shunned the spotlight, and her husband’s on-air confession of affairs with CBS staffers must have been gut-wrenching for her.

It’s unclear whether she knew of the sexcapades before the extortion attempt – and she hasn’t issued any public statement.

Relationship gurus say Letterman should follow her lead, let his televised statement be the last word and hunker down at home.

"I think now that he’s gone so public, he needs to go private," said Andrea Syrtash, author of "How to Survive Your In-Laws."

"A lot of people are saying he went public to just get over it, and maybe we’ll get over it faster, but that doesn’t mean his family will."

Lasko and Letterman met in 1986, when she was a production manager on NBC’s "Late Night with David Letterman."

She stuck with him through several crises: his nightmare with stalker Margaret Mary Ray, who committed suicide in 1998; his bypass surgery in 2000, and a 2005 attempt to kidnap their son.

After their Montana wedding seven months ago, Letterman told Julia Roberts he had never been more deeply in love. One expert said Lasko must wonder if that’s true.

"Anybody who cheats for that long has been lying, and you have to wonder what else they have been lying about," said Los Angeles relationship expert David Wygant.

"It’s about honesty right now, and how honest can he be to himself."

Couples therapist Rachel Sussman said Lasko’s silence is typical of the wives of cheaters.

"When a wife finds out, she’s in shock," she said.

"There’s a roller coaster of emotions. This is your family, and your husband, so you’re not going to just say your marriage is over," she added.

"You’ll buy yourself time. . . . That’s what she’s doing now."