David Letterman was on the receiving end of a sales pitch, not a shakedown, a defense lawyer said Tuesday as he argued that a TV producer accused of extorting the comic was simply peddling a screenplay.

Robert J. “Joe” Halderman’s lawyer asked a judge to toss the attempted first-degree grand larceny case, which spurred Letterman to acknowledge his office dalliances in a startling on-air monologue last month. Attorney Gerald Shargel said the $2 million exchange was business, not blackmail.