The embattled late night comedian wrapped up his lengthy apology to his staff and family Monday night with a light-hearted reference to the public spat he and Palin had three months ago over an inappropriate joke.

“Through all of this, you have to ask yourself what really happened. And what really happened was you can’t be victimized by criminals. So you have to go ahead and push back if you’re being pushed by something illegal like this,” Letterman told his audience Monday.

“And through all of the heartache, and the attention, and the embarrassment, I still feel like I did the right thing, and now also, because what can it hurt, once again I’d like to apologize to the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. I’m terribly, terribly sorry. So there we go,” he added to cheers from the crowd.