Published July 11, 2001
The following is an exclusive interview with flight attendant Anne Marie Smith about her relationship with Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., on Special Report July 11, 2001.
TONY SNOW: Welcome back.
We're going to skip the Grapevine tonight because we have something better. Anne Marie Smith, who was in Washington today talking with federal investigators, joins us in studio. And to open our conversation with Ms. Smith we've got Rita Cosby.
RITA COSBY: Anne Marie, I know you met with federal authorities today. Tell us a little bit about your meeting with law enforcement.
ANNE MARIE SMITH: I met with a few FBI and a couple of people from the U.S. Attorney's Office. And our meeting lasted approximately six hours.
COSBY: And then you're coming back again tomorrow, from what I understand.
COSBY: Give us a little sense -- talk us through what they were asking you. Was it chronological? What type of details were they asking you?
SMITH: It was in a chronological order. We started from day one and, kind of, walked through the relationship, the events that transpired, and basically all the details -- very specific details.
COSBY: Tell us, too, were there particular areas that seemed of interest to them more than other areas?
SMITH: There were a few things I think that they hadn't realized, that they didn't know about.
COSBY: And what type of things were that?
SMITH: I'd rather not say right now.
COSBY: OK. Another thing I wanted to ask you, too -- tell us a little bit about the relationship that you had with Congressman Condit. How long was your relationship with him?
SMITH: It was approximately a year. I met him a year ago on a flight from San Francisco to D.C.
COSBY: And then it was a 10-month-long relationship?
COSBY: When was the last time you spoke with him?
SMITH: Approximately two and a half weeks ago.
COSBY: OK. And I want to walk -- I know we did the interview about a week and a half ago, but for our viewers who are not so familiar with us -- walk us through what happened, too, with Congressman Condit's attorneys, and if you can also walk us through a little bit about what happened with him in terms of asking you to sign a statement.
SMITH: They contacted me. There was an article coming out in a tabloid. And his office actually contacted me to call one of his attorneys in California. Which I did. And they asked me at that time if I had an attorney, if I was represented, and I said yes. And then they continued to press me to sign an affidavit that was false.
COSBY: And he knew it was false.
COSBY: And why did he know it was false?
SMITH: Because he knew what our relationship was like -- knew what it entailed. And I had already given certain facts to certain agencies, and for me to sign the document would have been totally wrong.
SNOW: Was it your understanding that he had seen the affidavit before it came to you?
SNOW: So he'd had it and then signed off.
Now, you've talked in the past that -- when you last talked with him, what else did he say other than he wanted you to sign the affidavit?
SMITH: Basically he told me that this case would probably never go to trial so there was no reason why I should not sign the affidavit.
SNOW: So did that -- and that was basically the sum and substance.
When you had conversations with Congressman Condit, did he ever talk about his wife?
SNOW: And how did he characterize her?
SMITH: He said she was extremely ill and that their relationship was more of a friendship, you know. And I think he really deeply cares about here and still does. But he -- that's how he would characterize their relationship. It wasn't like a husband-wife interaction.
COSBY: Since the interview that we did, Anne Marie, he came out with a statement soon afterwards. And I want to read a little bit.
"I have repeatedly urged anyone who has information to help police and find Chandra Levy come forward, tell them all they know and be as forthcoming as possible." He says, "I never asked anyone to refrain from discussing this matter with authorities."
What is your reaction to the statement? This is in sharp contrast to what your experience is.
SMITH: Well, I don't think it's necessarily true. And I think people will, you know, pretty much say what they need to say to take care of themself.
COSBY: Were you surprised when he released this statement?
COSBY: Since we also spoke, Chandra Levy -- it has come out that Congressman Condit, in the third interview with police, has admitted to having a relationship.
COSBY: What was your reaction when you heard that?
SMITH: I really wish he would have just admitted it at the beginning. It would have been a lot easier for him and it would have saved -- it would have helped him if he had just been honest and told the truth at the beginning.
SNOW: In your earlier conversation with Rita, you said that he'd mentioned having had a series of affairs with different women.
SNOW: It was not something he tried to hide.
SNOW: Yet he discouraged you from talking. Did he say what would happen if you did talk?
SMITH: He was very adamant about it: "Don't talk to anybody about this. Don't talk to other flight attendants. Don't talk to your friends. Totally keep it a secret." And so, you know, I tried to, as best as I could.
SNOW: But he didn't say anything would happen to you.
SMITH: No, he didn't. But I knew what the consequences would be if I did speak out or...
SNOW: What would they be?
SMITH: He would probably end the relationship. I mean, he was very adamant about it.
SNOW: So as recently as two and a half weeks ago the relationship was still going on.
SMITH: Our phone conversations were.
SNOW: Do you consider him a friend?
SMITH: I did.
COSBY: What is your reaction to him now? How do you feel about him now in light of all these revelations?
SMITH: Well, I'm very concerned.
COSBY: You talked to Mrs. Levy.
COSBY: I want to have you recount to our viewers if you can. You spoke with Susan Levy. Why did you feel it was important to talk with her? And tell us about the conversation.
SMITH: Because my heart really goes out to them. And when I called her, she was so sweet. She said, "You're in our thoughts and prayers." And I said, "Well, it's not about me. It's about you, and whatever I can do to help you." And so I think she really appreciated it.
COSBY: In the last 24 hours or so they have searched Congressman Condit's apartment.
COSBY: You've been in that apartment, as you've said, a number of times -- stayed over there a number of times. Do you think there's anything unusual that they would find?
SMITH: Probably not after this length of time. It's been 10 weeks, I think.
COSBY: They're also talking about a lie detector test for him. Should he take a lie detector, and what do you think the results would be?
SMITH: I think he should, and I'm not absolutely sure what the results would be. I think he can be very manipulative.
SNOW: What do you think, if anything, he knows about Chandra Levy? Do you have any sense?
SMITH: I have no idea. I have no idea.
SNOW: Did she at all come up in your conversations or was he primarily concerned about disclosing your relationship with him?
SMITH: We never discussed it.
SNOW: Now, you had mentioned that there were some things that police didn't know. I understand that you don't want to talk about that. But were you surprised that there were things at this stage that they didn't know?
SMITH: I was slightly surprised.
SNOW: Were these things that should have been obvious, at least to have asked or have investigated?
SMITH: I think so, but I think it's more people that they talked to. I think that it's, you know, more things are coming out that are very helpful, and I think that's the whole point of my meeting with them, is to try to help, you know, find Chandra, help the case, help discover...
SNOW: Now, Abbe Lowell, his attorney, says, "Look, his extramarital affairs have absolutely no bearing on this case, it's nobody's business, it's hurting innocent people." Here you are, you're on TV, you're a little nervous. Is it your sense that there's any way in which your relationship with him has any bearing on this case?
SMITH: Personally, I mean, I believe in privacy, but it's in light of other issues. I mean, the reason why I had to come forward was I was, kind of, forced into this position; I didn't want to do it. But I think as a result there's been, kind of, an impetus, a little more pressure on him to admit things.
COSBY: Do you think that...
SMITH: And clearly, asking me to sign the affidavit, kind of, puts a shadow on his credibility.
SNOW: Do you think other people have received affidavits?
SMITH: I have a feeling that perhaps there are a few floating around.
COSBY: Do you think your coming forward will also help others and encourage others who may have been in the same situation?
SMITH: I hope so. And if they would, I think it would be very helpful.
COSBY: What do you think Congressman Condit's role may have been with Chandra Levy's disappearance?
SMITH: I have no idea. I hope he had nothing to do with it.
COSBY: Is there any sense -- is there any gut sense in your mind that there may be something out there that he may not be sharing, maybe not directly related to the disappearance, but something that could point them in a particular direction, in terms of law enforcement?
SMITH: I think so. I think there's a lot more that he knows that he's not telling.
SNOW: I've got a really dumb question. There are reports that when he would go pick people up, he would never have his car. Did he -- does he have a car? Does he ever drive it that you've seen?
SMITH: He does have a car here in D.C. And he's only -- I've only ridden in it once or twice.
SNOW: And on other occasions would he be using other cars, rental cars or such things?
SMITH: No, he usually went by cab.
SNOW: Did that ever strike you as weird?
SMITH: I don't think he likes to drive. No. I mean, he had a car for his staff members to use. And they would either pick him up to take him to work or he would borrow it to use on the weekends periodically.
COSBY: One of the things that's come out recently was Linda Zamsky (ph), who is the aunt of Chandra Levy, was talking about -- and very similar to you, the same, sort of, pattern on how he would want to walk down one floor or have Chandra walk down one floor so the two would not be seen leaving together.
COSBY: Tell us about some of the things that he did to keep the relationship secret.
SMITH: Well, I would always have to leave before he did, or vice-versa. Usually it was me. I left first. I'd go down the stairs, maybe sometimes out into the back alley. Other times, I would wait for him in the stairwell until he got outside. And sometimes I'd go out and he'd catch up with me on the street.
SNOW: Now, as we look at this case, you've been brought into talk. Does it ever strike you as either frightening or odd? Here we're talking about Chandra Levy -- somebody who has disappeared off the face of the Earth as far as we know. And you -- do you ever ask yourself what you have in common with her?
SMITH: I'm not quite sure how to answer that.
COSBY: It's a tough question.
SNOW: Yes. I mean, that's why...
SMITH: I felt -- I mean I'm very glad that I'm safe and I really worry about Chandra. I'm very concerned.
COSBY: Tell us if you can, too, about the hairs. Because you did not meet Chandra Levy. You weren't sure if he was dating Chandra Levy or not. But you did see some evidence of what may have been what you believe Chandra Levy's hairs. Tell us about that. What did you see one day?
SMITH: I found some hairs in his bathrooms. And you know how girls are; I was very suspicious and I asked him, like, "Whose hairs are these?" And he said, "Well, they're yours." And I said, "No, they're not. They're way too long for me." They're not my hairs and they were like long brown hairs. And I think that was, kind of, the end of the discussion. He kind of just brushed it off, like, "Oh, they're yours."
COSBY: Do you think in hindsight those hairs were Chandra Levy's possibly?
SNOW: Final quick question -- do you think he's capable of violence?
SMITH: He's never shown violent tendencies toward me.
SMITH: He's always been very gentle, very nice, very kind.
SNOW: Do you think he's getting a bad rap in the press?
SMITH: I'm not sure. I know that the pressure that the press has put on him has helped some of the truth come out, and so I think that aspect of it's good. But I also think that, you know, he needs to be given the benefit of the doubt, too.
SNOW: All right. Anne Marie Smith, thanks for joining us.
SMITH: You're welcome.